COVID-19: Universal health coverage now more than ever

With the association we are following the epidemic of Covid-19 in Italy and have published articles and viewpoints on the issue. The title of this post refers to an article that we recently published on the Journal of Global Health.

Below a few highlights. The article is available to download here (open access).

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Italian Na- tional Healthcare Service is proving the importance of providing Universal Health Coverage (UHC), and – at the same time – the consequences of years of definancing and privatization, fragmentation and lack of human resources.

UHC is essential to build a resilient and more equitable healthcare system, through improving health security, increasing access to essential health services and overcoming health care inequities. Moreover, granting the right to healthcare services, social security and financial benefits to the most fragile, as migrants, is a duty of a solidary society, as the Italian Constitution affirms. The COVID-19 pandemic urges a comprehensive and inclusive UHC for individual and societies around the world.

Essential quality health services must be provided to the entire population even more during exceptional events. The COVID-19 pandemic confirms the necessity of a comprehensive and inclu- sive UHC for individual and collective health security. Definancing, fragmenting and privatizing weaken National health systems and expose them to severe crisis in case of emergency. Governments should rather consider higher investments aimed at strengthening the community health services, epidemiological surveillance and emergency preparedness. This requires consistent management choices and a strong po- litical commitment with a vision of a more sustainable system and resilient society.

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