Economists from endorse Universal Health Coverage

20th September 2015

A global coalition of 267 economists representing 44 countries is calling on policymakers to prioritise universal health coverage as an essential pillar of economic development.

The Economists’ Declaration on Universal Health Coverage, published on 18 September 2015 in The Lancet medical journal, was convened by The Rockefeller Foundation and led by Lawrence H. Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University.

Signatories include Nobel Laureates Joseph Stiglitz, Kenneth Arrow, Alvin Roth, Vernon Smith and Christopher Pissarides; the current and former chief economists of the World Bank, Kaushik Basu and Justin Yifu Lin; noted health economists Anne Mills and Victor Fuchs; and renowned economic thinkers Thomas Piketty, Linah Mohohlo, Bjørn Lomborg, Tony Atkinson, John Irons and Paul Collier. Economists on every continent are supporting the Declaration.

Launched as global leaders prepare to enact the Sustainable Development Goals, the Economists’ Declaration proclaims that ensuring everyone can obtain high quality essential health services without suffering financial hardship is right, smart and affordable.

“Universal health coverage isn’t only the right thing to do – it’s also the economically smart thing to do,” said Lawrence H. Summers. “The data clearly show that health is essential to eradicating extreme poverty and promoting economic growth. I launched this Declaration to urge world leaders to act on that evidence."

Read the Declaration here