01 December 2019
This year’s theme in the global health arena is universal health coverage. Universal health coverage essentially ensures that everyone has access to quality healthcare without suffering financial hardship. This “quality healthcare” insists on acceptable standards in all health services, from prevention, to screening, to treatment and palliative care. On September 23, 2019, the United Nations convened for a high-level meeting on universal health coverage to evaluate the progress and the shortcomings on the path of achieving health for all.
In the 2019 World Psoriasis Day campaign we saw a variety of messages calling for equal access to healthcare and illuminating the cost burden of psoriasis and its co-morbidities. These messages are specifically linked to the theme of universal health coverage. For people with psoriasis, equal access to healthcare means the possibility for everyone, no matter where they live or what their socio-economic status, to have access to healthcare professionals that are prepared to manage psoriasis and its comorbidities within a reasonable amount of time. One of the problems that must be addressed is the uneven distribution of dermatologists in different regions of the world or even between different regions within one country. A strengthened primary healthcare system or the use of telemedicine can help tackle these disparities.
Another aspect of particular relevance connecting psoriasis and universal health coverage is financial hardship. It is known that psoriasis is associated with high out-of-pocket expenses. Suffering from multiple conditions, especially if these conditions are chronic, further amplifies the individual’s health expenditures, thus increasing the risk of poor adherence to therapy.
In response to the global attention on universal health coverage, IFPA has launched an Advocacy Toolkit to guide our community in campaigning for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis within this arena.
All across the globe, many people living with psoriasis experience the lack of adequate distribution of dermatologists and high out-of-pocket expenses. 2020 is the chance for our community to include psoriasis in the global conversation on universal health coverage. Every country can and must do more to improve the lives of people living with psoriasis.
Health is a human right.