Past eventInvitation OnlyResearch Event

The Political Economy of Universal Health Coverage

6 June 2017 - 9:00am to 5:00pm

Chatham House, London



Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is achieved when everybody receives the health services they need without suffering financial hardship. This requires establishing a health system whereby healthier and wealthier members of society cross-subsidize services for the sick and the poor.

Introducing and sustaining an equitable public health financing system is inherently political and is often resisted by powerful interest groups. Evidence from around the world shows that UHC health financing reforms can often occur relatively quickly, initiated by political leaders, in many instances at head of state level. These changes are frequently made when leaders are seeking election because they recognize the political popularity of such reforms. 

The purpose of this roundtable is to begin to bridge the gap by bringing health stakeholders and political actors together to address issues relating to the political economy of UHC reforms. This event will discuss UHC transitions in key developing countries, focusing on the political and economic aspects of these processes. Participants will hear presentations from political leaders and civil servants involved in successful UHC transitions and discuss how these experiences may be relevant to their country contexts. Representatives from countries initiating and implementing UHC reforms will also outline their experiences to date, and participants will be encouraged to provide practical advice on how political obstacles may be overcome. 

Attendance at this event is by invitation only.