When simple is successful: Gates Foundation on UHC

In Thailand, patients don’t have to pay accredited hospitals and health centers under the country’s universal coverage scheme. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, an organization that has spent billions on global health programs, has not yet clarified its position on universal health coverage. Photo by: Athit Perawongmetha / World Bank / CC BY-NC-ND

A recent drive led by the World Health Organization to prioritize universal health coverage within the post-2015 development agenda is gathering support — but one of the world’s largest and most influential donors is yet to be convinced.

Implementing UHC that everyone can afford implies building or strengthening systems, training health workers and ensuring access to medicines — not to mention financing all of those things. Indeed, it is a much broader and more complex task than achieving specific targets, such as reversing the spread of HIV under the current Millennium Development Goals.

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About the author

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    Anna Patton

    Anna Patton is a freelance journalist and media facilitator specializing in global development and social enterprise. Currently based in London, she previously worked with development NGOs and EU/government institutions in Berlin, Brussels and Dar es Salaam as well as in the U.K., and has led media projects with grass-roots communities in Uganda and Kenya. Anna has an master’s degree in European studies — specializing in EU development policy — and is a fellow of the On Purpose social enterprise program.