Recommendations from a group of health experts, including IDS Research Fellow Dr Gerald Bloom, highlight the vital role that the G20, who are due to gather in Japan in June 2019, can play in achieving universal health coverage (UHC). UHC is a key target articulated in the United Global Goals for Sustainable Development (Global Goals) and a clearly stated priority of Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Recommendations from the T20 Working Group on UHC
The T20 Working Group on UHC, comprised of representatives from leading global think tanks, which IDS was a member of alongside Waseda University, Johns Hopkins University, JICA Research Institute and The University of Hong Kong, has published their recommendations to the G20 in a policy briefing Deliberate Next Steps toward a New Globalism for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) . The briefing has also been published as an article in The BMJ. They include:
- A call for intergovernmental action to afford migrant workers the same level of access to health care as local workers, and to put in place more effective mechanisms to measure levels of migrant workers.
- Promoting better measurement of Primary Health Care (PHC) systems performance and support and expand ongoing efforts such as the Primary Health Care Performance Initiative
- Investment that encourages PHC systems to focus more on the non-communicable diseases such as heart attacks and strokes which affect ageing populations.
- Promoting mutual learning through systematic country case studies of what works in terms of health financing.
- Complementing investments in antimicrobial drug discovery with measures to increase access to treatment and improve management and stewardship of such drugs.
- Establishing a G20 working group that brings together national governments with private industry and civil society to review opportunities and challenges associated with the rapid development of digital health services and the deployment of disruptive technologies.
- Ensuring platforms such as UHC2030’s UHC Knowledge Hub and the Joint Learning Network as well as regional platforms such as the Regional Observatories on Health Systems and Policies, Technical Advisory Groups on UHC are enhanced to provide more timely and contextualised advice and used to inform more effective decision-making.
- Working together to help facilitate the financing transition in developing countries from assistance to domestic resource mobilisation, and harmonising their contributions in providing technical assistance at the country level, avoiding duplications and filling gaps.
G20, the Global Goals and a changing international governance architecture
As a result of his participation in the T20 Working Group, Dr Bloom came away with some insights and reflections on the increasingly important role of the G20 grouping in terms of translating broad global agreements into reality on the ground. Not least because the G20 includes a number of countries such as China, that have a growing influence on international development. Moreover, the vital role that networks such as T20 play in helping to ensure evidence-informed decision-making as well building a more inclusive process to shaping mutual understandings of how to tackle global challenges.