A new estimate published by the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Health Price Tag describing in detail the costs and benefits of expanding health services to achieve 16 SDG health targets, benefitting approximately 75% of the world’s population across 67 low- and middle-income countries, , according to a World Health Organization (WHO) press release.1

This estimate was developed using 2 different models: an “ambitious” scenario, which assumed that sufficient investments were made for countries to achieve these SDG health targets by 2030, and a “progress” scenario, which assumed that countries will achieve at least 75% of these targets during the same time period.

The “ambitious” scenario would require an initial $134 billion annual investment, increasing to $371 billion by 2030. These investments would add to more than 23 million health workers and 415,000 new health facilities — preventing almost 97 million premature deaths — and increase the health spending percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) across the 67 countries by an average of 5.6% to 7.5%.

Conversely, the “progress” scenario used in this estimate would require an initial $104 billion annual investment, increasing to $274 billion by 2030. The investments made in this scenario would create about 14 million new healthcare jobs and 378,000 new health facilities — preventing almost 71 million premature deaths — and increase the health spending percentage of GDP by 6.5% on average.

If investments were to aid in development of universal health coverage, as well as focus on other SDG health targets, the lifespan in some countries could increase as much as 8.4 years.

Universal health coverage is ultimately a political choice,” wrote Tedros Ghebreyesus, PhD, current WHO Director-General in a Lancet Global Health commentary. “It is the responsibility of every country and national government to pursue it.”2

References

  1. WHO estimates cost of reaching global health targets by 2030 [press release]. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2017/cost-health-targets/en/. Published July 17, 2017. Accessed August 15, 2017.
  2. Ghebreyesus TA. All roads lead to universal health coverage [published online July 17, 2017]. Lancet Global Health. doi:10.1016/S2214-109X(17)30295-4

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