World Health Day, which takes place annually on 7 April, will this year look to raise awareness of universal healthcare, under the theme ‘Universal Health Coverage: everyone, everywhere’. The campaign champions the notion that everybody, irrespective of where they live in the world, should have access to health services without suffering financial hardship.

Statistics suggest that more than half of the world’s population has no access to essential medical care. Additionally, nearly 100 million people – surviving on pounds and pennies per day - are forced into extreme poverty as a result of having to pay for access to health services.

A campaign developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), this year’s World Health Day draws attention to the benefits of universal health care, encouraging a global shift from a system that has been designed around responses to disease and illness towards services that are designed around and for patients.

"The notion that healthcare is free at the point of access in the UK via the NHS is something we can sometimes take for granted, but it is a principle that we should all hold dear."

Linda Millband
Head of medical negligence strategy

The WHO recognises that there isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to universal healthcare, but that each country can do more to make progress.

Thompsons Solicitors is proud to be marking World Health Day by recognising the benefits of access to universal healthcare through the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.

Linda Millband, head of medical negligence strategy at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Patients in the UK are lucky to have had access to universal healthcare through the NHS for 70 years, irrespective of ability to pay, employment status, or condition of health.

“The notion that healthcare is free at the point of access in the UK via the NHS is something we can sometimes take for granted, but it is a principle that we should all hold dear.

“Healthcare always comes with risks, and NHS has a good record of accepting responsibility when the care provided does not meet the high standards we expect. However, the same cannot necessarily be said of the private sector, which often seeks to avoid accountability. We are proud to lead the Patients Before Profits campaign, which aims to ensure that no healthcare provider profits from treating patients poorly.”