A number of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015 have targets that relate to health.
However, one goal – SDG 3 – focuses specifically on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages. Target 3.8 of SDG 3 – achieving universal health coverage (UHC), including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all – is the key to attaining the entire goal as well as the health-related targets of other SDGs.
Target 3.8 has two indicators – 3.8.1 on coverage of essential health services and 3.8.2 on the proportion of a country’s population with catastrophic spending on health, defined as large household expenditure on health as a share of household total consumption or income. Both must be measured together to obtain a clear picture of those who are unable to access health care and those who face financial hardship due to spending on health care. Since the SDGs aim to “leave no one behind”, indicators should be disaggregated by income, sex, age, race, ethnicity, disability, location and migratory status, wherever data allow. This report presents the results of the latest efforts to monitor the world’s path towards UHC.