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Organization of American States: Agreement with PAHO on Cooperation to Achieve Universal Health Coverage

(July 3, 2014) On June 3, 2014, the leaders of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Organization of American States (OAS) signed a joint declaration in which they agreed to collaborate in order to achieve universal health coverage in the Western Hemisphere. (Press Release, OAS, The OAS and PAHO Will Work Together for Universal Health Coverage in All Countries of the Americas (June 3, 2014).)

The heads of these organizations explained that several countries in the region are worried about the lack of health services for many segments of their populations. Therefore, this agreement is designed to tackle the issue by strengthening collaboration between OAS and PAHO in order to achieve social inclusion in health care. (Id.)

According to a press release issued by the OAS, some of the key elements of the accord include “the intention to expand equitable access to comprehensive, quality, people and community centered health services …. (and) enhance the capacity of national health officials to successfully execute public policies that address the social factors of health.” (Id.)

The agreement is designed to expand and improve financing for health care costs in order to eliminate out of pocket expenses. (Press Release, Pan American Health Organization, OEA y OPS trabajarán juntos por alcanzar la cobertura universal de salud en todas las Américas (June 4, 2014).)