Every year in September world governments come together at the United Nations to debate important global issues at its annual General Assembly. The American Heart Association has been working alongside global partners to elevate health issues. We are pleased that this meeting, better known as “UNGA” is including on this year’s agenda a resolution on universal health coverage (UHC).
The global noncommunicable disease (NCD) community has been providing input over the last few years to ensure that the UHC resolution reflects the needs of patients facing a chronic disease and ensures that actions are taken to strengthen primary health care that is the cornerstone to most national health systems.
Our long standing commitment to work at all levels of government to make health care access available to those that need help the most, like the Affordable Care Act and programs like Medicaid and Medicare, are important to this resolution on universal health coverage. The advocacy work we are doing across the country is contributing to the achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal #3 that calls for the “health and well-being for all”.
Human centered designed health systems will go a long way to closing the gap in health disparities. At the heart of the resolution is the need for health care systems to reach those with the greatest need and commit to providing high quality access to health services without financial hardship. Our efforts to advance equitable, impactful public policies that improve the health systems, and our communities allow us to get closer to achieving our mission of a world of longer healthier lives.
Key clauses in the UN Resolution on UHC important to our work:
- Acknowledging noncommunicable disease including tobacco use as leading causes of premature disease and death,
- Recognition that food security and food safety, adequate nutrition and sustainable, resilient, and diverse nutrition-sensitive food systems are necessary for healthier populations; and
- Protecting women from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
As a leading force for good, the American Heart Association recognizes that health inequities exist around the world and as such it is critical for us to influence the global policy forums like those at the United Nations. We are committed to working with our global and country partners to strengthen the health care system and improve the lives of patients and communities around the world. If you are interested in learning more, please let us know by visiting this link.