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Universal health coverage

In 2015, all United Nations member states made a pact to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030. UHC means that everyone, irrespective of socio-economic circumstances, has access to quality health services whenever they need them and do not face any financial barriers when accessing these services.

However, no country in world can provide all needed health services to its citizens as public finances are limited. This is clearly evident during this time where governments are struggling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic as resources are finite e.g. shortage of health workers, ventilators, intensive care unit beds, and personal protective equipment etc. Therefore, priorities must be set, and policy makers must make tough choices and trade-offs when prioritising health services and medicines to be offered through their health systems.

I am a first-year student reading for a DPhil in Population Health specialising in Health Economics. My research explores priority setting practices in Low- and Middle-Income countries and I will be working with stakeholders such as policy makers, government officials, academics, health care providers, programme managers, patient groups and the general public. I will guide these stakeholders on how to systematically prioritise health services and medicines to be included in a country’s health system using multiple criteria such as costs, effectiveness of treatments, severity of illness, and equity among others. I intend to foster a culture of evidence-based decision making so that priorities are not misplaced in the quest to achieving universal health coverage.

Melvin Obadha (2019, DPhil Population Health)

Are you involved?
If you are involved in research or frontline work relating to COVID-19 that you would like to bring to the attention of the Univ community worldwide, please email communications@univ.ox.ac.uk.

Published: 2 May 2020

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