Tayler E, Gregory R, Bloom G, Salma P, and Balkhy H (2019) Universal health coverage: an opportunity to address antimicrobial resistance?, The Lacent Global Health, Published Online September 20, 2019, DOI: 10.1016/S2214-109X(19)30362-6
On Sept 23, 2019, global leaders will gather at the UN for a high-level meeting on universal health coverage and discuss commitments and action to extend essential health services to over half of the world's population that have no access to them. 3 years ago, leaders met similarly at the UN General Assembly to consider antimicrobial resistance, perhaps the greatest threat to public health of our time. These two major global health priorities are much more closely linked than they might appear at first. If antimicrobial resistance is not controlled, health care will become more difficult, less effective, and more expensive. Conversely, action towards universal health coverage — and a positive response by countries at the meeting to the key asks proposed by the universal health coverage movement — can help expand coverage of measures to prevent and manage infection, including appropriate use of antibiotics. Countries have a great opportunity to both accelerate universal health coverage progress and tackle antimicrobial resistance, with substantial and sustainable gains.