Saturday December 12th 2015 is Universal Health Coverage Day and PAHO's Director, Dominican Dr. Carissa Etienne, says investing the necessary public resources to achieve universal health is a social, political and economic necessity that should no longer be delayed. Addressing a forum organized by PAHO/WHO, Dr. Etienne said “We are at the point where there is no dispute: there is an overwhelming consensus that this is the right thing to do...This generation will no longer tolerate a lack of access to health services to meet their health needs. Universal health is a right, not a privilege, and it’s smart—like any good investment.” Approximately 30% of the population in Latin America and the Caribbean lack access to health care for economic reasons, and 21% do not seek care because of geographical barriers, according to PAHO/WHO estimates. This is despite much progress toward expanding access to health care over the past 15 years. At a the 62nd meeting of the OECS Authority held in Dominica recently, Prime Minister Skerrit proposed establishment of a regional health insurance scheme. He said there continues to be a high prevalence of CNCD's among OECS citizens, and finding financing for their healthcare remains a burden for citizens.
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