World Health Day 2019: A Quest for Universal Healthcare
Today, Sunday, April 7, is World Health Day. This annual day of awareness in the healthcare industry, founded in 1948, is organized by the World Health Organization (WHO). As a sector of the United Nations, the goal of WHO is to improve public health across the globe.
WHO’s 2019 Theme
Each year WHO picks a medical disease or issue currently impacting the world population. World Health Day is their platform to both inform the public on the subject and create change. This year the theme is universal healthcare; which also happens to be the center of 18 goals the United Nations plans to reach by 2030.
WHO’s first plan of action is to educate the public on what exactly universal healthcare entails. This includes the type of medical attention it covers, where there is coverage, and individuals with the greatest needs. While WHO acknowledges that some progress has been made to increase healthcare in better funded countries, still there is much work to be done. Nearly 100 million individuals fall into poverty annually as a result of bills relating to healthcare payments.
While poverty, due to a lack of coverage is a big deal, still at large is the issue of healthcare availability and accessibility. These two issues are also on WHO’s agenda to improve. The first step in improving healthcare accessibility, and universal healthcare care, is to make primary care the heart of medical industries.
To work toward these goals, healthcare providers, government decision makers, and the general public must come together. Healthcare providers will be pivotal in advocating patient’s rights to them while patients will be in charge of demanding governmental change. To cultivate change, the three parties must hold each other accountable.
One location where universal healthcare coverage has been adopted and met with success is Thailand. Since 2001, the coverage has aided in decreasing mortality rates across the board with the greatest decreases evident in infant and child mortality rates. In addition to the decrease in mortality, there has been an increase in life expectancy. The effects of universal healthcare in Thailand are an example of what WHO and the UN hopes to achieve across the nation.
Show your support
To show your support World Health Day and its universal healthcare initiative, start a conversation with your healthcare providers and government decision makers. Reach out in person, online, or on social media using the hashtag #HealthForALL.
To learn more about this year’s initiative and the plan for improvement click here.
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