Universal Health Coverage


Universal Health Coverage is about everyone having access to good quality health services without suffering financial hardship. Although most OECD countries offer all their citizens affordable access to a comprehensive package of health services, they face challenges in sustaining and enhancing such universal systems. These challenges are as relevant in low- and middle-income countries, so that expanding coverage also translates into better health outcomes for all.

The OECD’s contribution to helping countries achieve and sustain universal health coverage

The OECD, with its core mission to promote policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world, brings much relevant experience supporting countries to achieve and sustain universal health coverage (UHC).

The OECD monitors and evaluates key aspects of universal health coverage, and assesses the future sustainability of universal health systems. OECD country experiences can also offer valuable lessons for other countries seeking to attain universal health coverage. 

Universal Health Coverage

Enhancing universal health coverage today

Quality, access and affordability are at the heart of reforms to successfully enhance universal health coverage.

Sustaining universal health coverage in the future

Sustaining universal health coverage requires assessing the longer-term costs of health care and associated fiscal sustainability issues.

Monitoring progress towards UHC

The OECD contributed to the 2017 UHC Global Monitoring Report. The report found that "at least half the world’s population still lacks access to essential health services. Furthermore, some 800 million people spend more than 10 per cent of their household budget on health care, and almost 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty each year because of out-of-pocket health expenses."

Related events:

Country reviews on Transitioning to universal health coverage

Lessons learned for low- and middle-income countries: Over the past few decades, a number of OECD countries have successfully made the transition to universal health coverage. OECD reviews of health policies in member countries, together with work in middle-income countries, can provide useful policy lessons for countries transitioning to universal health coverage.


Price setting and price regulation in health care: lessons for advancing Universal Health Coverage - Main report and Case studies


Released on Monday 17 June, 9h00 Paris time

This report identifies the objectives of price setting and price regulation in health care, distils "best practices" in price setting and price regulation, assesses how (cost-) effective policy instruments have been used to reach stated objectives and draws policy lessons to drive low- and middle-income country action.

It is jointly developed by the OECD and the WHO Centre for Health Development in Kobe (WKC). 

further reading


Download "Universal Health Coverage: Facts and Figures"
(December 2018)


For more information, please contact

Small follow us Twitter icon Follow us on Twitter via @OECD_Social


Related Documents