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More than 1700 people from over 100 countries representing 760 institutions.

350 hours of presentations and over 500 posters.

People are talking since the Symposium ended!

Here’s what they’re saying.

(If you know of others, email us at with the subject line: people are talking, and we’ll add the link)



All plenary sessions (video and presentations) now available on demand.

Tweeting: @WHO provided full coverage of the Symposium using the hashtag #HSRsymposium – continue the conversation!  

Symposium updates are also on Facebook at and Google+’s knowledge hub also covered the Symposium with interviews of presenters and reports on selected sessions. 


Universal health coverage

The goal of achieving UHC has two inter-related components – coverage with needed health services (prevention, promotion, treatment and rehabilitation) and coverage with financial risk protection, for everyone.  Moving towards universal coverage requires a strong, efficient health system that can deliver quality services on a broad range of country health priorities.  This requires health financing systems that raise sufficient funds for health, access to essential medicines, good governance and health information, people-centered services, and a well-trained, motivated workforce, for example. 

WHO Director General speech on more countries moving to universal health coverage (April, 2012)

 WHO Ten Facts on universal health coverage

The Lancet - themed issue, published Sept 7, 2012

"Universal Health Coverage is the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer."

Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization


In this themed issue of The Lancet, the first of three Series papers explores the evidence on the links between expansions in coverage and population health outcomes. The second paper looks at the political and economic dimensions of the transition to universal health coverage, and the third examines nine low-income and lower-middle-income countries in Africa and Asia that have implemented national health insurance reforms. Also, a Viewpoint calls for continued progress and argues for a large public sector role in health systems reform.

What becomes clear in this issue is that although universal health coverage is not a guarantee for progress, attention should focus now not on whether, but on how to make the most of the transition. In a Comment, Judith Rodin and David de Ferranti conclude: "what will emerge in the decades ahead in each country undertaking reform is not entirely clear, but, as this Series and many country examples suggest, we are getting closer to a time when this [transition toward universal health coverage] will be achieved and families will no longer be at risk of having the cost of sickness ruin their lives."

Have you heard about the process for the post Millennium Development Goals 2015? Watch this plenary session on the topic:

Post-2015 development goals: Framing the issues, prioritizing health and using the evidence

Chair: Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief, The Lancet, United Kingdom

Speakers: Joseph Kasonde, Minister of Health of Zambia

                     Anders Nordström, Ambassador for Global Health, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden

                     Sania Nishtar, Founder and President, Heartfile, Pakistan

                     Ariel Pablos-Mendez, Assistant Administrator, USAID, USA

                     Toomas Palu, Sector Manager for Health, Nutrition and Population, East Asia and Pacific Region, World Bank

More information on the consultations for the Post-2015 Development Agenda

New health systems research strategy

The World Health Organization strategy on health systems research was launched at the Symposium. Read it here.

Four background papers to inform this strategy were commissioned by the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research and are also available:

More information available at the website of the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research

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