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A Concise, Health Service Coverage Index for Monitoring Progress Towards Universal Health Coverage

Anthony Leegwater, Wendy Wong, Carlos Avila


June 30, 2015
There is a growing international commitment to universal health coverage (UHC), but limited means to determine progress towards that goal. The authors developed a practical index for capturing health service coverage – a critical dimension of UHC -- that was more inclusive than previous methods.

The approach moved beyond common indicators of service coverage focused on infectious diseases and maternal and child health, to include information on necessary health inputs. The resulting, balanced, composite index of health service coverage demonstrated promise as a metric, likely to discriminate coverage levels between countries and regions. An important number of service provision indicators were correlated, therefore a reduced set of services performed well as a proxy for the full set of available indicators. This parsimonious index is a start toward simplifying the task of policy-makers monitoring progress on a key domain of universal health coverage.