Online Program

Universal Access to Health and Universal Health Coverage in the Americas: Addressing the challenge of NCDs

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 9:10 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

James Fitzgerald, Ph.D., Pan American Health Organization, Washington, DC
Universal access to health and universal health coverage imply that all people and communities have access, without any kind of discrimination, to comprehensive, appropriate and timely, quality health services determined at the national level according to needs, as well as access to safe, effective, and affordable quality medicines, while ensuring that the use of such services does not expose users to financial difficulties, especially groups in conditions of vulnerability. Universal access to health and universal health coverage require determining and implementing policies and actions with a multisectoral approach to address the social determinants of health and promote a society-wide commitment to fostering health and well-being.

In October 2013, Member States of the Pan American Health Organization adopted a Regional Strategy for Universal Access to Health and Universal health Coverage.

The strategy explains the conditions that will enable countries to focus and evaluate their policies and measure their progress toward universal access to health and universal health coverage It establishes four simultaneous, interdependent strategic lines: (a) expanding equitable access to comprehensive, quality, people- and community-centered health services; (b) strengthening stewardship and governance; (c) increasing and improving financing with equity and efficiency, and advancing toward the elimination of direct payments that constitute a barrier to access at the point of service; and (d) strengthening multisectoral coordination to address the social determinants of health that ensure the sustainability of universal coverage.

Implementation of this strategy within countries will effectively address the challenges and support the changes required in the health systems to provide a comprehensive response to NCDs including disease prevention and health promotion.

Learning Areas:

Basic medical science applied in public health
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the process through which countries in the Americas adopted a common strategy to move towards Universal Access to Health and Universal Health Coverage. Differentiate between concepts of Access and Coverage, as it relates to Health Systems in the Americas. Demonstrate the actions that countries are taking in health systems strengthening towards universal access to health and universal health coverage

Keyword(s): Chronic Disease Prevention, Public Health Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am director of Health Systems and Services, PAHO/WHO and am responsible for overseeing the PAHO work program on health policy and governance, health systems and services organization, human resources for health, financing in health, and access to medicines and health technologies, oriented towards Universal Health Coverage. He assumed coordination of the PAHO regional work program in the Americas in Medicines and Health Technologies and was appointed Director of Health Systems and Services in 2014.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.