In December 2019, Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, published an editorial in the Washington Post where they “…call on all countries to develop strong primary health-care-based health systems, to strengthen health financing and to invest in innovations related to health technologies and service delivery.”
According to Shinzo and Ghebreyesus: “Universal coverage creates the conditions required for people to live healthy lives, free from vaccine-preventable diseases and premature death from treatable diseases. Strong primary health care including nutrition, water and sanitation is the cornerstone of universal coverage, reducing the reliance on expensive hospitals and specialist services.” They argue that: “Time is short. In 2015, world leaders committed to achieving universal health coverage by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. With just 10 years remaining, the Universal Health Coverage Forum in Bangkok in January and the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit in December 2020 offer a vital opportunity to elicit concrete actions.”
Read the full editorial here.