Practice English everyday with VOA Special English

Monday, September 30, 2013 | Latest audio lessons → VOA Learning English

WHO Urges Health Care for All

From VOA Learning English, this is the Health Report.

The World Health Organization says everyone should have a right to the health care services they need without risking financial ruin. A new WHO report is urging countries to provide health care designed to meet the needs of their citizens. In 2005, all 194 members of the World Health Organization set a goal of providing universal health coverage. But very few countries have reached that target. Most people must use their own financial resources to pay for the health care they need.

Since health care needs differ from one country to another, the new report urges every country to create its own system of health coverage. It says the services should include prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and reduction of pain. And the health care should involve communities, health centers and hospitals.

Christopher Dye is head of the WHO's Office of Health Information, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases. Every year, he says, about 150 million people face extraordinary medical expenses that they cannot pay. The question, he says, is how to put in place financial risk protection that reduces costs to a minimum.

The report shows how research can help countries improve their health system. Dr. Dye said some European countries have continued supporting their social and health services even during this period of financial difficulty. He says that decision is paying off in better health for their people. Dr. Dye notes that the cost of medical care is increasing quickly. Because of that, he says, governments must work harder to keep costs under control.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Laurel Bowman.