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WHO urges countries to increase healthcare spending by one per cent of GDP

By Gideon Nweke | Nov 27, 2019 | health
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The World Health Organisation has urged countries to increase spending on primary healthcare by at least one per cent of their Gross Domestic Product in order to eliminate the gaps that still exist in accessing healthcare.

WHO said this in a statement, which he issued on Sunday, the eve of the UN General Assembly high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage.

 

WHO said that countries must increase spending on primary healthcare by at least one per cent of their Gross Domestic Product if the world is to close glaring coverage gaps and meet health targets agreed in 2015.

It warned that if current trends continue, up to 5 billion people will still be unable to access health care in 2030 – the deadline world leaders have set for achieving universal health coverage.

 

It was pointed out that most of the people affected are poor and already disadvantaged.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said, “If we are really serious about achieving universal health coverage and improving people’s lives, we must get serious about primary health care.

“That means providing essential health services like immunization, antenatal care, healthy lifestyle advice as close to home as possible – and making sure people do not have to pay for this care out of their own pockets.”

 

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Investing an additional USD200 billion a year on scaling up primary health care across low and middle-income countries would potentially save 60 million lives, increase average life expectancy by 3.7 years by 2030, and contribute significantly to socio-economic development, said the WHO statement.

 

The global health organisation added that countries must also renew efforts to scale up service coverage countrywide as the biggest health service gaps are in the poorest countries and those affected by conflict.

 

Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director said, “Too many women and children continue to die from easily preventable and treatable causes simply because they can’t get the care they need to survive. By working with communities to provide primary health care to the poorest and the most vulnerable, we can reach the last mile and save millions of lives.”

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