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On 20 April, the President of the UN General Assembly and the World Health Organization (WHO) convened an interactive hearing with non-state actors as part of the preparatory process for the UN High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) on 23 September 2019.
The hearing was an opportunity for civil society and other stakeholders to share their recommendations for the outcome of the UN HLM with Member States, and to urge governments to give higher priority to UHC ahead of the meeting in September.
The CVD community was well represented at the hearing, with WHF CEO Jean-Luc Eiselé contributing a statement on behalf of WHF, and Diana Vaca-McGhie, representing AHA and member of the WHF Committee.
The World Heart Federation made a statement, supported by the International Diabetes Federation, World Stroke Organization, International Society of Nephrology, World Hypertension League, NCD Alliance, and Framework Convention Alliance, all members of the Global Coalition for Circulatory Health.
Our statement focused on the financing of UHC through fiscal policies as a win/win policy measure.
At the 2017 WHA, the “best buys” document on NCDs was adopted. These best buys, when implemented, can support countries to reach both SDG targets 3.4 and 3.8. By implementing these best buys, governments will protect health, make populations more productive, save on health-care costs, and—when they implement taxes on tobacco, sugary drinks, and alcohol—generate revenues that can be ploughed back into financing UHC.
The World Bank Group has also identified fiscal policies, particularly on tobacco, as win-win policy measures that achieves both public health goals and raises domestic resources by expanding fiscal space for UHC priority investments and programs.
WHF call on Ministries of Health to engage more productively with their colleagues in Ministries of Finance. We pledge to do more to support you, our friends in the Ministries of Health, to make the case for fiscal policies and to help you demonstrate that health expenditure is an investment, not a cost.
Read our full statement
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