WONCA joins meeting on Primary Health Care for UHC

On 12 December 2017, the United Nations officially designated 12 December as the International Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day to commemorate the endorsement of a historic resolution in 2012 that urged all countries to accelerate progress toward UHC as an essential priority for international development.

UHC means that all people have access to the health services they need, in good quality, when and where they need them, without financial hardship. UHC should be based on strong, people-centred primary health care (PHC) with health systems rooted in the communities they serve. Many countries are making progress towards UHC but achieving UHC requires strengthening health systems in all countries and investment in quality PHC will be the cornerstone for achieving this.

In line with the theme of this year’s Day “Build the World We Want: A Healthy Future for All”, the WHO Regional Office carried out a regional meeting on “Primary health care for universal health coverage and health security in the Eastern Mediterranean Region” on 11–15 December at the Four Seasons hotel at the First Residence, Cairo, Egypt.

WONCA President, Dr Anna Stavdal, Prof Taghreed Farahat, WONCA EMR president, and Dr Nagwa Nashat, WONCA EMR Honorary Secretary, joined the event during the sessions on the 14 and 15 December 2022. During those dates, the EMR regional professional diploma steering committee was held on Wednesday as a parallel session.

On 15th of December,2022,  health leaders from across the Region will signed a call for action for the national recognition of the regional Professional Diploma in Family Medicine. The aim is to build the World We Want: A Healthy Future for All. The Diploma was delivered through a partnership with the Arab Board of Health Specializations (ABHS), WHOEMRO, WONCA EMR regional office, the UNAIDSMENA, UNFPA, UNHCR and UNICEFmena. 

14 Member States signed the Cairo Call for Action for the national recognition of the regional Professional Diploma in Family Medicine.

- Djibouti
- Egypt
- Islamic Republic of Iran
- Jordan
- Lebanon
- Libya
- Morocco
- Pakistan
- Palestine
- Somalia
- Sudan
- Syria
- Tunisia
- Yemen


Prof.Taghreed Farahat WONCA EMR president signed on behalf of WONCA EMR

More than 100 participants attended to the meeting, bringing together a range of stakeholders from government, the private sector, donors, academia and the health sector to:

• renew commitment to achieving UHC and health security through PHC;
• share country experiences on the role of PHC in health emergencies;
• reach consensus on an implementation agenda for the 7 regional priorities;
• highlight ongoing work and progress on various health initiatives.

To the meeting attended by Regional Health Alliance partners, including WHO, United Nations Children’s Fund, United Nations Population Fund, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, the World Organization of Family Doctors and the Arab Board of Health Specializations. The Regional Health Alliance aims to provide a platform for accessible, affordable, equitable, integrated, quality primary care and public health services for all.

Discussion focused on establishing the link between PHC and the regional priorities outlined in the Sixty-ninth session of the Regional Committee (RC69) paper on ‘Building resilient health systems to advance UHC and ensure health security in the Eastern Mediterranean Region’ to inform the development of a regional road map to put into action the key strategic and operational levers outlined in the PHC Operational Framework. The meeting also served as an opportunity to prepare for the UN High-Level Meeting on UHC that is scheduled to take place in September 2023.

The outcomes of the meeting were:

• increased political commitment towards strengthening PHC to achieve UHC and health security;
• strengthened strategic approach for ‘making UHC happen’ in the Region;
• initiation of a regional UHC-Priority Benefit Package and adaptation process;
• development of a roadmap on enhanced engagement of the private sector towards PHC for UHC and health security;
• consensus on a strategic approach to promote national integration of the Regional Professional Diploma in Family Medicine;
• development of a “call for action” document to signal country level political commitment for the Regional Professional Diploma in Family Medicine;
• increased high-level commitment by national governments and Global Action Plan partners to implement effective development initiatives.

With information of https://phc4uhcandhealthsecurity.org/