HIFA survey: Q5: Improving the availability and use of reliable healthcare information would lead to substantial improvements in quality of care (3) Unmet healthcare need

13 September, 2023

Thanks Neil,

As you know – I completely agree with you and support the need for HIFA – especially in Resource Poor Countries. I am sure you are in touch with Megumi Rosenberg at WHO. There is a good paper by Rosenberg and Colleagues in this week’s BMJ. I expect you know about it. [*see note below]

Thanks for your excellent work

Kind regards


Professor Andrew Tomkins,

Institute for Global Health,

UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health,

Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK

Tel - +44(0)1935 891083 (land) +44(0)7748286837 (mobile)


HIFA profile: Andrew Tomkins qualified in Medicine in the UK and after postgraduate training in Nutrition, worked with Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria and the MRC in North Nigeria and the Gambia and then continued work on childhood infection and malnutrition, based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He then was head of the Centre for International Child Health at the Institute of Child Health, London and is now Emeritus Professor of International Child Health in the Centre for International Health and Development, Institute of Child Health, University College, London. His research has focused on Improving Management of Infection and Malnutrition , including Infant Feeding and HIV in recent years. He is now HIV/AIDS advisor to Tearfund, working with partners in many less developed countries. a.tomkins AT ucl.ac.uk

[*Note from HIFA moderator (NPW): Thank you Andrew for your longstanding support for universal access to reliable healthcare information. Here are the citation and key messages of the paper you mention:

Better data on unmet healthcare need can strengthen global monitoring of universal health coverage

BMJ 2023; 382 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj-2023-075476 (Published 05 September 2023)

Cite this as: BMJ 2023;382:e075476


Key messages

- Current indicators for global monitoring of universal health coverage (UHC) do not capture levels of unmet healthcare need

- A measure of unmet need for healthcare that is not bound to a single health intervention or disease and that explains access barriers would add considerable value to global UHC monitoring

- Existing survey data on self-reported unmet need for healthcare could be used to estimate the prevalence of unmet need but have technical limitations

- Standardised survey questions on unmet healthcare needs will facilitate comparability for global monitoring ]