Our aims are clear:
First, everyone should have access to affordable, quality health services. Our commitment is universal, but during the next 755 days until the MDG deadline in December 2015, we are putting a special focus on expanding access to vital services for poor women and children. We are helping the poorest countries scale up results-based financing programs that are already producing dramatic improvements in maternal and child health in countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.
Second, no one should be forced into poverty, or be kept in poverty, to pay for the health care they need. Every year an estimated 100 million people – that’s more than a quarter of a million people every day – face poverty as a result of out-of-pocket health care costs. So we must pay special attention to affordability for the poorest 40 percent of the population in every developing country.
No matter what else you may think of the World Bank, these remarks by World Bank president Jim Yong Kim delivered at the Government of Japan-World Bank Conference on Universal Health Coverage strike a refreshing note of basic human decency at a time when that sort of thing is becoming an increasingly rare commodity.
Everyone should have access to quality health services and no one should be forced into poverty or be kept in poverty to pay for it. Whether it's a realistic goal, who can say? What's important is that we can still aspire to such things.