On October 1, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) launched the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, setting out its strategic direction, based on the collective priorities of its Member States and country focus, and specifying the results to be achieved. The focus is on promoting Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and access to essential medicines and vaccines for the entire population of Latin America, envisaging new care models and measures to promote integrated health systems. Following these guidelines, Colombia approved a strategic plan for the next six years that will seek to secure UHC at national level. This process is expected to be replicated in other countries in the coming months.
According to the PAHO plan, “sustained economic development in the region, with improvements in public sanitation, housing, nutrition and medical care, has boosted significant advances in health outcomes,” but major “inequalities persist, with worse results for populations living in conditions of vulnerability.” These inequalities must be overcome in order to apply the UHC at regional level in 2025, as is currently envisaged.
The plan also proposes a “comprehensive” approach based on technical cooperation between countries and the agency to improve health services, implementing innovative care models and integrated health systems. The announcement was made during the 57th meeting of the organization’s Board of Directors, which was attended by the health ministers from PAHO member countries.