Health Systems Strengthening (HSS) is one of the principal levers for achieving Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC). The UN has set a deadline of 2030 for countries to achieve full UHC. The UK Government’s Prosperity Fund Better Health Programme, is supporting a range of middle income countries to strengthen their health systems.
The extension of Universal Healthcare and overall development in low and middle-income countries, is threatened by what has frequently been described as a pandemic, that of non-communicable disease. However, in 2020 this problem was intensified by a further pandemic – COVID-19.
The impact of the virus has, amongst other things, flushed through where there are immediate weaknesses in health systems, and created significant displacement in regular healthcare activity. Building strong, resilient health systems will become an urgent necessity as the world emerges from COVID-19 and as it battles the continuing pandemic of NCDs.
Arising from their work with Better Health Programme countries, the Department for International Trade (DIT) are working with Chatham House and partner countries to explore what are the principal themes that middle income countries are facing as they journey towards UHC. How can system development expertise work in collaboration to support our overseas partners in middle income countries to strengthen their health systems?