The importance of UHC and the need for transparency

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The 136th session of the World Health Organization’s Executive Board (EB) was held last week in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Two IAPO staff members, the Governing Board Chair, and one member organization representative were able to attend a variety of sessions. The meeting focused on the challenges of Ebola, the need to strengthen health systems and continue WHO reform. 

Director General Margaret Chan highlighted in her address that,

universal health coverage is one of the most powerful social equalizers among all policy options.’ 

There is ‘growing evidence that well-functioning and inclusive health systems contribute to social cohesion, equity and stability. They hold societies together and help reduce social tensions.'

IAPO interventions

An IAPO statement was delivered on the involvement of NGOs and other non-state actors with WHO on Tuesday, alongside statements from several NGOs, and organizations that we work with including industry representative body IFPMA and the International Federation of Pharmacists (FIP). The NGO statements and the EB agenda and papers are available on the WHO website.

While the main areas discussed by member states regarding non-state actor involvement was the role of private companies and academics and researchers, it is crucial we continue to emphasise the need to involve patients and patients’ organizations in the discussion of health-related issues that will ultimately affect them, not only locally and nationally, but also at the regional and global level.

Next steps

Member states and the EB were keen to work through the comments and suggestions made so that an agreed resolution or at least a more detailed plan of action can be presented to the World Health Assembly in May 2015. At the time of newsletter publication (Tuesday 3 February), the matter was still under discussion at the EB, and we will update you on progress, and on other WHO items, in the coming weeks.