WHO Draft Resolution On Universal Health Coverage Shows Efforts At Consensus 28/01/2019 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch 2 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)With half the world’s population still lacking access to essential health services, World Health Organization Executive Board members this week are working to agree on a resolution indicating ways through which this situation can be alleviated. Discussions are going on outside the plenary room as delegates seek agreement on a draft resolution. WHO Executive Board tea break this week A draft resolution [pdf] was issued dated 26 January, put forward by Japan and Thailand, the two countries coordinating the discussions on the language of the draft resolution. The 144th session of the World Health Organization Executive Board is taking place from 24 January to 1 February. In the context of a United Nations General Assembly High Level meeting to be held later this year in New York, WHO members have been working on a draft resolution to be approved by the Board (HPW, WHO, 22 January 2019). The draft resolution would feed into the broader conversation of UN members to agree on a political declaration at the high level meeting. A leaked draft [pdf] resolution dated 22 January included a suggestion put forward by India, Ecuador, Peru, supported by Egypt, to “promote increased access to affordable, safe, effective and quality medicines and diagnostics and other technologies, including by making use, to the fullest extent, of the TRIPS [World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights] flexibilities for the protection of public health and to achieve health for all” (IPW, WHO, 24 January 2018). The draft resolution published on 26 January, however, does not contain a mention of TRIPS flexibilities. Varied Actions, Definition of UHC The draft resolution, which is a much shorter version of the leaked draft document, contains proposed actions to be carried out by member states, and actions to be taken by WHO. Actions to be taken by member states include: mobilising adequate and sustainable resources to support universal health coverage including efficient, equitable and transparent resource allocation; investing in and strengthening primary health care as a cornerstone of universal health coverage; ensuring access to appropriate technologies and “the best value for money” by strengthening national systems; to ensuring competent health workforce; and calling upon international development partners and stakeholders “from the health sector and beyond” to harmonise and synergize their support. In the draft resolution, the WHO is requested to: support member states’ efforts towards achieving universal health coverage by 2030; to facilitate and support the learning and sharing of universal health coverage experiences: and to produce a monitoring report on universal health coverage to be discussed at the high-level meeting in 2019, and to report on progress to the World Health Assembly from 2019 until 2030. The discussions are ongoing on the draft resolution and an informal discussion on the text is scheduled for tonight. There was also a lunchtime informal discussion today. According to sources, one of the difficulties of the conversation is the scope of universal health coverage, what it encompasses, and can be considered as a political concept. The Board document states that “Universal health coverage means that all people receive the health services they need, including public health services that are designed to promote better health, prevent illness and to provide treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care of sufficient quality to be effective, but that at the same time ensure that their use does not expose the user to financial hardship.” Image Credits: William New Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."WHO Draft Resolution On Universal Health Coverage Shows Efforts At Consensus" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.