Universal Health Coverage and Essential Packages of Care

Authors: David Watkins, Dean Jamison, Anne Mills, Rifat Atun, Kristen Danforth, Amanda Glassman, Susan Horton, Prabhat Jha, Margaret Kruk, Ole Norheim, Jinyuan Qi, Stéphane Verguet, David Wilson, Ala Alwan

Abstract:

A concrete set of priorities for universal health coverage (UHC) is proposed in this chapter, grounded in economic reality and intended to prove appropriate to the health needs and constraints of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), by (1) developing a model benefits package referred to as essential UHC (EUHC); (2) identifying a subset of interventions termed the highest-priority package (HPP); and (3) presenting a case all countries—including low-income countries—could strive to fully implement the HPP interventions by the end of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) period (2030), and many middle-income countries could strive to achieve full implementation of EUHC. Estimates of the EUHC and HPP costs and mortality consequences lead to a discussion of measures that improve the uptake and quality of health services and some remarks on the implications of EUHC and the HPP for health systems. The UHC priority-setting process remains contextual, depending on political economy as well as local costs, budgets, and demographic and epidemiological factors—all of which influence the value for money of specific interventions.