Indicators for Measuring Universal Health Coverage: A Five-Country Analysis
This study aimed to advance the dialogue on measurement of universal health coverage (UHC) by taking a practical, bottom-up approach – specifically, cataloguing indicators of UHC that have already been defined in the literature, assessing the feasibility of producing those indicators from already-available data sources, and reflecting upon their strengths and weaknesses. We aimed to expose key issues related to the feasibility and applicability of commonly proposed metrics of UHC, in order to help prioritize areas for further research and development, especially as donors and policymakers demand accurate metrics to gauge progress towards UHC.
Using the 2010 World Health Report’s three-dimensional framework for UHC as a starting point, we conducted a literature review of research that addressed measurement of one or more of the three dimensions. The service coverage dimension captures the aspiration that all people can obtain the health services they need, while the financial coverage dimension aims to ensure that they do not suffer financial hardship linked to paying for these services at the time they need them. The extent and distribution of coverage across various population sub-groups is reflected by the third dimension, which highlights the paramount importance of equity in coverage across income or wealth groups, sex, age, place of residence, migrant status, and ethnic origin.