“My Health, My Right”?

In a world with resource constraints, how can societies reconcile the provision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) with other pressing demands?

Can public-private partnerships pave the way for expanded access to quality healthcare, particularly in underserved communities?

How do we address the disparities in healthcare access and outcomes across different societal segments?

As we strive for UHC, how can we ensure the sustainability and adaptability of healthcare systems in the face of emerging challenges? 

These real head-scratchers are at the core of this year’s World Health Day’s theme My Health, My Right“. Acknowledging healthcare as a fundamental human right has been a hot-button issue, with opinions divided across ideological and socioeconomic lines.

Individuals, regardless of their circumstances, deserve access to quality healthcare services without discrimination, because health is a prerequisite for leading a dignified life, and its denial undermines the human rights of individuals.

There are pointers to the financial constraints and limited resources that seem to make the attainment of universal health coverage impossible. Arguments have been made that providing comprehensive healthcare services to every individual is an unrealistic burden on communities, particularly those struggling with poverty and underdevelopment.

Millions of people’s lives hang in the balance as there is a difficult decision to make as to whether to invest in healthcare or other pressing needs.  Lack of access to essential healthcare services has devastating consequences, perpetuating cycles of poverty, stunting economic growth, and undermining the collective well-being of societies.

As we observe World Health Day, it is critical to confront these challenges and explore sustainable solutions to healthcare, and work toward attaining UHC. A nuanced approach that recognizes the complexities of the challenges, while upholding the fundamental principles of human rights and equality must be adopted.

Today, as part of efforts to raise awareness of health as a right for all, we acknowledge the multifaceted challenges surrounding healthcare accessibility, as well as those whose lives have been impacted by the lack of adequate healthcare services. More critically, we entreat all to come together and explore innovative strategies, best practices, and policy interventions that will help to bridge the gap between the empowered and the disenfranchised ensuring that health becomes a right, and not a privilege.

Accepting that health is a right and by working toward a sustainable solution, everyone can access the healthcare they deserve.


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