Achieving Universal Health Coverage in LMICs: the role of quality of care research

The Academy of Medical Sciences and InterAcademy Partnership convened a policy workshop on research and Universal Health Coverage in low and middle income countries in London on the 29-30 May 2019.

Status: Completed

This two-day workshop on the 29-30 May in London, chaired by Professor Anne Mills FMedSci and Dr Carmencita Padilla, facilitated discussions around quality of care research and universal health coverage (UHC) in low and middle income countries (LMICs). 

A meeting report was produced and disseminated to UK and LMIC stakeholders. This report outlines the proposed short- and long- term actions to improve the quality of care in LMICs.

The report can be downloaded from the downloads tab on the right hand side of this page or by clicking on this image.


About 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty by having to pay for health care. A multitude of barriers and challenges exist which prevent the achievement of UHC. Establishing UHC depends on many governmental departments and aspects including improving infrastructure, training the healthcare workforce, increasing the number of and improving existing healthcare centres from hospitals to local practices, developing information services and ensuring the supply of medicines and medical technologies. 

Many countries are making progress towards achieving UHC, with most low- and middle- income countries being in the process of designing and implementing strategies to ensure their whole population has access to essential healthcare. Current data suggests that in many low- and middle-income countries the quality of care provided is sub-optimal. Poor quality care not only carries a high cost in terms of lives lost and quality of life but it also carries a high financial cost as it wastes precious resources which could be invested into other important drives of socioeconomic growth.

An opportunity exists for quality of care to be built into the foundation of UHC and into policies, processes and institutions as health systems are developed and implemented. Ensuring that the care being provided is of high quality and safeguards patient safety will be essential to creating trust in the health service and will require engagement with communities and patients.

Photo of all the Workshop participants, London, UK. 

This workshop brought together experts and evidence to examine the current state of quality of care research and UHC and identified barriers and challenges to ensuring all individuals and communities have access to quality health care. 

Watch our short animation which summarises the discussion and proposed actions to improve quality of care withing UHC: 


Click here to find out more about our previous GCRF workshops and read the workshop reports.

This workshop is funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund that aims to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries. Visit our GCRF webpage to read more about the fund. 


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