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Increased health care cost drives 100m people into poverty each year – UN Chief

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TEHRAN, 12 December 2018 (UNIC) – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his message on the first observance of International Universal Health Coverage, 12 December 2018, said each year, 100 million people are driven into poverty because care cost far more than they could afford.

The full text of his message reads:

Today, the world marks the first International Universal Health Coverage Day. We do so because good health is a fundamental human right and crucial to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Quality physical and mental health services should be accessible to everyone, everywhere.  Tragically, that is not the case for half the world’s population.  And each year, 100 million people are driven into poverty because care cost far more than they could afford.

Such dire circumstances should befall no one – and do not have to. Many countries around the world have shown that it is possible to provide universal health care. They have also demonstrated that improving health is a smart investment in human capital that helps to promote economic growth and reduce poverty. 

Strong leadership and community engagement are essential in ensuring that all people get the healthcare they need. On this International Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to a world with health for all.

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