UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations called for greater efforts on the part of its member states to ensure universal health coverage, and designated Dec 12 as the International Universal Health Coverage Day.
In one of the two resolutions adopted on Tuesday, the UN General Assembly called for efforts ensure that all people have equal access, without discrimination of any kind, to quality preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative basic health services.
It also encouraged all member states to promote the effective participation of all — particularly those who are vulnerable or in vulnerable situations — in the design, implementation and monitoring of law, policies and programmes relevant to realising the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, including strategies for universal health coverage.
The General Assembly also called for reinforcing the protection of medical and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, and hospitals and other medical facilities, especially in armed conflict, consistent with their specific obligations under international humanitarian law.
The assembly announced that it would hold a high-level meeting in 2019 on universal health coverage.
Published in Dawn, December 14th, 2017