Essential Diagnostics: A Key Element of UHC

Good primary care is an essential precondition for a decent healthcare system. In fact, primary health care is at the heart of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). UHC, in turn, is critical to achieve the sustainable development goals. While access to essential medicines is explicit in UHC, access to essential diagnostics has received little attention. In May 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) published the first Essential Diagnostics List (EDL), and declared its commitment to give equal importance to diagnostic tests and essential medicines. The EDL has been positively received by a variety of stakeholders, including industry. The EDL offers countries a benchmark that they can use to measure and improve diagnostic services, and preliminary data from India show limited access to essential tests at the primary care level.

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Pai Kohli SAH Med J 2019.pdf (1.6 MB)