High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage

Statement by Minister of Health and Care Services Ms Ingvild Kjerkol at the High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage.

Excellencies, honourable delegates.

For Norway, universal health coverage is the agenda that best represents the essence of health leadership: to make sure that available resources for health services benefit everyone fairly, and without causing financial hardship.

UHC is a pledge that the community will care for the weakest first; elevating the floor on which we all stand.

It is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do. UHC makes societies healthier, more resilient, more inclusive, and it amplifies trust. It also makes us much safer in the face of pandemics.

UHC needs to be domestically owned, led and financed. When resources are constrained, prioritizing investments in essential primary services will be the right thing to do.

But establishing UHC everywhere will be a global public good – benefitting us all. The global health system must improve the support to countries on the path to UHC. That is why we have embarked on the Future of Global Health Initiatives process to strengthen global health initiatives’ role in contributing to domestic financing and health system capacities.


personnel are the backbone of the health and care services. However, with changing demographics, we cannot rely on ever higher levels of staffing.

Countries like Norway should not rely on inflow of qualified personnel from poorer countries. The WHO Global Code of Practice on International Recruitment of Health Personnel remains highly relevant. We must use our work force in the best way possible by task sharing, training and better use of technology.


Without sexual and reproductive health and rights, there can be no real UHC. Universal access also means access for girls, youth, LGBTIQ+ persons, and marginalized groups. It also requires peace.

In four years we will again be held to account. Let us make UHC a reality now.