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Making fair choices on the path to universal health coverage: a précis

  • Alex Voorhoeve (a1), Trygve Ottersen (a2) and Ole F. Norheim (a2)

We outline key conclusions of the World Health Organisation's report 'Making Fair Choices on the Path to Universal Health Coverage (UHC)'. The Report argues that three principles should inform choices on the path to UHC: I. Coverage should be based on need, with extra weight given to the needs of the worse off; II. One aim should be to generate the greatest total improvement in health; III. Contributions should be based on ability to pay and not need. We describe how these principles determine which trade-offs are (un)acceptable. We also discuss which institutions contribute to fair and accountable choices.

Corresponding author
*Correspondence to: Alex Voorhoeve, Philosophy, Logic, and Scientific Method, London School of Economics, UK. Email:
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G. Lagomarsino , A. Garabrant , A. Adyas , R. Muga and N. Otoo (2012), ‘Moving towards universal health coverage: health insurance reforms in nine developing countries in Africa and Asia’, Lancet, 380(9845): 933943.

C. J. L. Murray , M. Ezzati , A. D. Flaxman , S. Lim , R. Lozano , C. Michaud , M. Naghavi , J. A. Salomon , K. Shibuya , T. Vos , D. Wikler and A. D. Lopez (2012), ‘GBD 2010: design, definitions, and metrics’, Lancet, 380(9859): 20632066.

Y. Teerawattananon , M. Mugford and V. Tangcharoensathien (2007), ‘Economic evaluation of palliative management versus peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis for end-stage renal disease: evidence for coverage decisions in Thailand’, Value in Health, 10(1): 6172.

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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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