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Geneva, 12 Dec. (EFE) .- The economic crisis triggered by the covid-19 pandemic has put a brake on the battle towards universal health coverage, as evidenced by a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Bank world (WB).

The results obtained in the study, presented in conjunction with Universal Coverage Day, conclude that COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the economic capacity of people and governments to ensure quality health care.

In addition to the collapse of healthcare services around the world, efforts to contain the covid-19 pandemic also led to the worst global economic crisis since 1930, which these organizations say made paying for healthcare even more difficult. health. .

Data provided by the report shows that before the pandemic, 500 million people were plunged into extreme poverty due to the inability to afford health services.

The Director of Health, Nutrition and Population of the World Bank, Juan Pablo Uribe, recalled that already before the pandemic, nearly 1 billion people devoted more than 10% of the family budget to health.

“This is unacceptable, especially since the poorest are the most affected. In tight fiscal space, governments will have to make tough decisions to protect and increase health budgets, ”he said.

Experts agree that the solution to this problem is for governments to increase public spending on health in order to exempt the most vulnerable population from the economic burden of health services.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged governments to immediately resume and accelerate their efforts to ensure that every one of their citizens can access health services without fear of financial consequences.

“Before the pandemic, many countries had made progress, but it was not strong enough. This time around, we must build health systems strong enough to withstand shocks, such as the next pandemic, and stay the course towards universal health coverage. “he added.

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