The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) emphasize partnership to attain health related goals and Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Although World Health Organization (WHO)’s Member States have adopted the SDG agenda, they will not be able to achieve these goals through public sector service delivery alone. The private health sector has evolved to be a prominent provider of health service delivery across regions and different wealth quintiles. Innovations are thriving in the private health sector and call for a new approach to governing health systems so as to ensure that both the public and private sector can contribute.
WHO has the potential to play a pivotal role in supporting UHC through private health sector service delivery governance. A resolution to engage the private sector in providing essential health services was adopted in the Sixty-third World Health Assembly (WHA). Since then, WHO has made progress towards recognizing and engaging the private health sector, but a more system-wide shift is necessary to catalyze action for UHC. Leveraging on work to date, WHO will support Member States to strengthen governance of mixed health systems and assure alignment of the private sector for UHC, to promote equity, access, quality and financial protection for the population.
The Advisory Group on the Governance of the Private Sector for UHC recommends a strategy for WHO that will support a new way of doing business for health system governance.