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Information will be the key to successful implementation

  • Peter Littlejohns (a1) and Kalipso Chalkidou (a2)

Making Fair Choices on the Path to Universal Health Coverage [UHC; World Health Organization (WHO), 2014] is to be welcomed because tackling the relationship between cost-effectiveness and fairness has been given too little attention in policy-making. The consensus that universal coverage is a good thing quickly disperses as the concept is translated into working national policies and local delivery processes. As Weale (2014) and Rumbold and Wilson (2014) point out, seeking practical solutions can lead to the re-exploration of previous givens and result in unexpected ethical and philosophical consequences. While the basic premise underlying the discussion on the ethics of resource concurs with the view that equity is always at odds with efficiency, this is not inevitable as the authors of the report point out in their analysis – a view more fully explored by Culyer (2006). The present report is a welcome attempt to reconcile, as countries progress to UHC, ethical norms with the reality of setting priorities, involving what to pay for and under what circumstances.

Corresponding author
*Correspondence to: Professor Peter Littlejohns, Professor of Public Health, Department of Primary Care and Public Health, King’s College London, 5th Floor, Capital House, Guy's, SE1 3QD, London, UK. Email:
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Health Economics, Policy and Law
  • ISSN: 1744-1331
  • EISSN: 1744-134X
  • URL: /core/journals/health-economics-policy-and-law
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