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Marking International Universal Health Coverage Day 2020

As we’re approaching 12th December, you may come across plenty of images with health-related hashtags on social media, as well as other similar themed campaigns and activities locally. If you’re not already familiar with International Universal Health Coverage Day, this Pacific Prime article will explain what the day is all about and the ways you can get involved!

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What is International Universal Health Coverage Day?

The United Nations General Assembly endorsed a resolution on 12th December 2012, urging countries to progress towards universal health coverage, as this is a priority for international development. In other words, this is the idea that everyone, everywhere should be able to access quality and affordable healthcare.

To achieve universal health coverage, this would require countries to have:

  • Efficiently-run healthcare sectors
  • An adequate system of funding for health services
  • Well-trained and a sufficient capacity of healthcare workers
  • Supply of essential medicines and technologies

Unfortunately, millions of people are still unable to access the healthcare they need, leading to the day being marked on (and annually since) 12th December 2014, which has raised awareness for the cause. Following this, the UN proclaimed on 12th December 2017 that the day will be officially known as International Universal Health Coverage Day.

The impact of COVID-19 on healthcare systems

With the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, International Universal Health Coverage Day 2020 is more significant than ever. As we’re witnessing the failures in healthcare systems to offer adequate protection, especially to the poor and vulnerable, it’s vital that we invest in robust and resilient healthcare systems that protect everyone.

What should you do to mark International Universal Health Coverage Day?

When it comes to marking International Universal Health Coverage Day, you can be as creative as you’d like, either joining existing campaigns or even creating your own! With that said, you’re strongly urged to take into account the COVID-19 situation in your area and plan activities around that to safeguard public health.

Here are three ways you can get involved:

1. Get acquainted with universal health coverage around the world

Before you can take action to raise awareness for universal health coverage, it’s important to understand the state of universal health coverage around the world. By reading the report and viewing the country dashboard, you’ll get an insight into where we are and where we need to get to in terms of achieving our goals.

2. Join the #ProtectEveryone Virtual Rally

One of the easiest ways you can raise awareness is to use social media in the lead up to and on 12th December 2020. Use one of the templates provided and post it online using the #HealthForAll, #UHCDay, and #ProtectEveryone hashtags. Alternatively, you can also make your own virtual rally sign and take a picture or short video of you holding it.

Note: Following social distance and hygiene measures, you can also consider moving the activism and rally offline. 

3. Call on local and regional policymakers to prioritize universal health coverage

As individuals, we sometimes forget that we have the power and responsibility to hold local and regional policymakers accountable by making clear what matters to us. You can tweet them using these sample messages or write open letters asking them to prioritize universal health coverage. What’s more, you can actively decide to vote based on healthcare policies in the next election.

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While it’s crucial that governments prioritize universal healthcare coverage, the reality is that many public healthcare systems are underfunded and overutilized, leading to long wait times for all. If you’d like to access private healthcare without out-of-pocket expenses, especially if you move around quite a bit, you can secure a health insurance plan via Pacific Prime.

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Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime
Suphanida is a Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime, an award-winning global health insurance and employee benefits specialist.

With over 5 years of experience in the field, Suphanida spends the majority of her day synthesizing complex pieces of insurance-related information and translating this into easy-to-understand, engaging, and effective content across a variety of media such as articles, infographics, whitepapers, videos, and more.

Suphanida is also responsible for planning and publishing three whitepapers released annually by Pacific Prime: The State of Health Insurance Report, The Cost of Health Insurance Report, and The Global Employee Benefits Trends Report. Additionally, she handles the LinkedIn profiles of Pacific Prime’s Founder and CEO, as well as Global HR Lead.

Suphanida’s strengths lie in her strong research and analytical skills, which she has gained from her BA in Politics from the University of Warwick and Erasmus Mundus Joint MA in Journalism from Aarhus University and City, University of London.

Being of Thai-Indian origin and having lived, studied, and worked in Thailand, the UK, and Denmark, Suphanida also has a unique, multicultural perspective that helps her understand the struggles of expats and globetrotters.

Outside of work, she enjoys traveling to new places and immersing herself in different cultures.
Suphanida Thakral