Jakarta (ANTARA) - The APEC Health Working Group -- at a high-level meeting during the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, the US, -- actively encouraged universal health coverage (UHC) for a prosperous, healthy future.

Leaders worldwide congregated at the UNGA in New York on September 23 for the first-ever United Nations High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) on Universal Health Coverage (UHC): Moving Together to Build a Healthier World.

As a regional forum, with directed attention on clearly showcasing the value of health to economic growth and development, the APEC Health Working Group delivered a statement on UHC at the meeting, adding the Group’s distinctive perspective to the global discussion on UHC.

UHC is crucial to advancing human health and well-being, sustainable economic growth, inclusive social development, and poverty alleviation. Primary health care (PHC) is the basis of an effectual and resilient health system and is crucial to achieving UHC.

Evidence indicates that every US$1 investment in primary healthcare services has an average return or economic benefit of some $9-20.

APEC economies have made prolonged and encouraging attempts to further UHC and tackle health problems that pose a threat to economic, trade, security, and social developments.

However, major changes in the demographic structure, economic and trade cooperation, as well as climatic and environmental conditions are emerging in the Asia-Pacific region, with the potential to raise health threats and disease burdens.

As part of the APEC’s efforts to bolster health systems to support universal health coverage, the APEC Health Working Group presented the statement "Promoting Universal Health Coverage: Sharing a Prosperous and Healthy Future" at the UN high-level meeting.

The statement reaffirms the significance of realizing universal health coverage through several efforts encompassing encouraging governments to take up a leadership role in promoting universal health coverage; promoting people-centric, equitable, quality, reliable, and efficient primary healthcare delivery; raising health investment and optimizing the allocation and utilization of health funds; and improving equitable access to healthcare services and health financial risk protection. Related news: APEC strives to bolster health ethics to support SMEs, patients

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Translator: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Editor: Azizah Fitriyanti
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