Dear HIFA colleagues,
I invite your thoughts on the survey question: Universal health coverage cannot be achieved without universal access to reliable healthcare information - do you agree or disagree?
In 2020 three members of the HIFA steering group (Geoff Royston, Chris Zielinski and I) published a paper in BMJ Global Health:
Universal access to essential health information: accelerating progress towards universal health coverage and other SDG health targets
We asserted: 'Universal access to essential health information is a prerequisite for, and indeed a key component of, universal health coverage (UHC), yet this fundamental role for UHC of access to essential health information appears to have been largely neglected - for example it does not feature in thhe Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) UHC target or associated indicators.'
Our paper was cited in the first sentence of a 2023 BMJ FMCH paper 'Universal health information is essential for universal health coverage'. Encouragingly one of the authors is the Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organization. We are trying to follow up to see how we can encourage WHO to explicitly commit to universal access to reliable healthcare information, with support from HIFA (we can't do it alone). As we have discussed on HIFA, such a commitment would be a game-changer.
One of the questions in our global survey asks: What should WHO do to accelerate progress towards universal access to reliable healthcare information? The most popular answers were:
1. Make a public commitment to accelerate progress towards universal access to reliable healthcare information
2. Support stakeholders to develop a strategy for universal access to reliable healthcare information
What do you think?
Best wishes, Neil
HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of HIFA (Healthcare Information For All), a global health community that brings all stakeholders together around the shared goal of universal access to reliable healthcare information. HIFA has 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting in four languages and representing all parts of the global evidence ecosystem. HIFA is administered by Global Healthcare Information Network, a UK-based nonprofit in official relations with the World Health Organization. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org