Lack of Quality Care Hinders Gains from Universal Health Coverage

In 2016, 5 million deaths in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) were estimated to be due to poor-quality health care.

In 2016, 5 million deaths in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) were estimated to be due to poor-quality health care, according to a study published by The Lancet.

Globally, universal health care (UHC) has been targeted as a potential solution to improve health and reduce the financial burden of care. Implementation of UHC is part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are new targets signed by 193 United Nations member states to improve health and development by 2030.

Although proponents suggest that UHC produces gains in population health and reduces financial hardship, successful implementation is contingent on the accompanying investment of high-quality care, according to the study authors.

“In low-income countries, evidence is emerging that expanding health care coverage does not necessarily result in better outcomes, even for conditions highly amenable to medical care,” the authors wrote.

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