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Strengthening universal health coverage in the occupied Palestinian territory

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UHC_missionWHO high-level expert mission with Minister of Health Dr Al-Kaila

4 September 2019 – The World Health Organization (WHO), at the request of the Prime Minister, conducted a high-level expert mission to the occupied Palestinian territory to support the Ministry of Health and partners in accelerating efforts towards universal health coverage (UHC). WHO experts reviewed the current status of UHC to advise on strategic options to strengthen health system capacities with an emphasis on health service delivery and sustainable financing.

“At WHO we are committed to helping everyone, everywhere get the health services they need, close to home,” said Dr Peter Salama,  Executive Director for UHC and the Lifecourse at WHO. “It is encouraging to see this growing commitment to UHC in the occupied Palestinian territory and we look forward to working alongside all our partners here to make it a reality.”

“The key pillar of universal health coverage is a strong health system. WHO will use the momentum of the mission to develop an action plan with the Ministry of Health and partners to strengthen health system capacities to deliver quality services that are tailored to meet people’s needs,” says Dr Gerald Rockenschaub, head of WHO’s office for the occupied Palestinian territory. “Building on the strong commitment from partners and key stakeholders, there are new opportunities to put Palestine on a trajectory towards achieving Health for All.”

The mission presented the initial findings to Prime Minister Dr Shtayyeh and Minister of Health Dr Al-Kaila, who reiterated their commitment to advance universal health coverage and the health-related Sustainable Development Goals.

WHO will work with government officials, civil society, nongovernmental organizations and United Nations partners to collectively develop a roadmap to accelerate efforts towards UHC, to improve health and well-being. A special focus will be on strengthening primary health care through the roll out of the family practice approach, continuous quality improvement of services, evidence-based health services planning, and health financing reform with an emphasis on sustainable health financing and social health insurance. 

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