Japan Pursues Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to Solve Existing Global Health Challenges

The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, is unrolling Japan's strategy for global health diplomacy in the post-2015 development agenda via a commentary in the Lancet, Vol 382. Moving away from the existing disease-focused vertical pathway for development assistnace, Japan is advocating a push for universal health coverage (UHC) to solve current global health challenges, including the current epidemiological transition from communicable to non-communicable disease.

UHC would provide a people-centered approach. Instead of addressing one disease at a time, UHC would allow health systems to sustainably reach vulnerable populations, address domestic inequalities, and meet a wide-range of health needs. Additionally, UHC enables countries to take ownership of their health care systems, and set priorities based on their population's unique needs.
Japan plans to lead this effort using their own successful universal health insurance system as an example of the benefits of investment in UHC, including how to address a globally aging population.