Health for all. Here and now.

Advancing universal access to health and universal health coverage in the Americas

Health authorities from the Americas pledged unanimously to work toward the achievement of universal access to health and universal health coverage, at the 53rd Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) in 2014.

Universal access to health and universal health coverage imply that all people have access, without discrimination, to the health services and medicines they need, without fear of financial hardship.

Achieving universal access to health and universal health coverage is within our reach. What is needed is strong political commitment and leadership, sufficient public financing for health, reorganization of health systems, and broad social participation.

The photos in this exhibit underscore the centrality of health in people's lives while highlighting key steps needed for countries to advance toward universal access to health and universal health coverage-the 21st century expression of "Health for All."


Photo from Summit of the Americas Exhibit
Prescriptions are filled free of charge

Prescriptions are filled free of charge at a public pharmacy in Mexico City. Progressively reducing out-of-pocket health spending is central to achieving universal access to health and universal health coverage.

Photo from Summit of the Americas Exhibit
Well-qualified professionals to deliver quality health services

Having sufficient numbers of well-qualified professionals to deliver quality health services is critical to achieving universal access to health and universal health coverage.

Photo from Summit of the Americas Exhibit
Members of an indigenous Awajún community with local doctor

A local doctor discusses health needs with members of an indigenous Awajún community in the Peruvian Amazon. Empowering people and communities to participate fully in health programs and policies is central to universal access to health and universal health coverage.

Photo from Summit of the Americas Exhibit
Regional Strategy for Universal Access to Health is approved

Ministers of health made history in unanimously approving the regional Strategy for Universal Access to Health and Universal Health Coverage at the 53rd Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Washington, D.C., in October 2014.

Photo from Summit of the Americas Exhibit
4-year-old in Suriname

As this 4-year-old in Suriname grows and matures, good health will be her most important resource for living. Universal access to health and universal health coverage—the 21st century expressions of "Health for All"—will help her to realize her dreams.

Photo from Summit of the Americas Exhibit
Young woman receives screening and counseling

In Trinidad, a young woman receives screening and counseling at a mobile clinic provided by the Ministry of Health. Taking health services to people in their communities is a time-tested strategy for expanding access to care.

Photo from Summit of the Americas Exhibit
Little girl drinks water from a faucet

A little girl drinks water from a faucet in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Quality sanitation services are essential to achieve universal access to health and universal health coverage.

Photo from Summit of the Americas Exhibit
Colombian toddler and his mother visit a clinic

A Colombian toddler and his mother visit a clinic in Bogotá's San Ignacio Hospital. People- and community-centered health services are an integral component of universal access to health and universal health coverage.

Photo from Summit of the Americas Exhibit
Breast cancer survivor

A breast cancer survivor talks with her oncologist at Mexico's National Cancer Institute. Universal access to health and universal health coverage mean that people receive the care they need, when they need it, and without fear of financial hardship.