Countries around the world are moving towards Universal Health Coverage. Along the way, they face difficult choices. LSE Philosopher Alex Voorhoeve was part of a World Health Organization consultative group offering guidance on how to make these choices fairly.




WHO-ReportThe group’s report, Making fair choices on the path to universal health coverage, was published in May 2014.


Further to the report itself, Dr Voorhoeve’s work with the group has led to the following publications.


  • The report was featured in an Editorial in the Bulletin of the World Health Organisation (2014) 92: 389.
  • The report was also Reviewed in Salute, June 18, 2014.
  • Three Case Studies in Making Fair Choices on the Path to Universal Health Coverage. Alex Voorhoeve, Tessa TT Edejer, Lydia Kapiriri, Ole F Norheim, James Snowden, Olivier Basenya, Dorjsuren Bayarsaikhan, Ikram Chentaf, Nir Eyal, Amanda Folsom, Rozita Halina Tun Hussein, Cristian Morales, Florian Ostmann, Trygve Ottersen, Phusit Prakongsai, Carla Saenz, Karima Saleh, Angkana Sommanustweechai, Dan Wikler, Afisah Zakariah. Health and Human Rights Journal 18 (2) (2016): 11-22.
  • Making Fair Choices on the Path to Universal Health Coverage: Applying Principles to Difficult Cases. (Copy available on request.) Alex Voorhoeve*, Tessa TT Edejer,* Lydia Kapiriri*, Ole F Norheim*, James Snowden*, Olivier Basenya, Dorjsuren Bayarsaikhan, Ikram Chentaf, Nir Eyal, Amanda Folsom, Rozita Halina Tun Hussein, Cristian Morales, Florian Ostmann, Trygve Ottersen, Phusit Prakongsai, Carla Saenz, Karima Saleh, Angkana Sommanustweechai, Daniel Wikler, Afisah Zakariah (* = lead author). Health Systems and Reform (forthcoming).



The report was launched at LSE on 1 May 2014. The launch featured responses from leading academics and the Director-General of the Ethiopian Ministry of Health. Further details.

The report’s recommendations have also formed the basis of a number of other presentations at academic and governmental institutions around the world:

  • Basis of a “Writeshop” at the Pan-American Health Organisation in Washington, D.C. on May 5-9 2014, with participants from the World Bank, PAHO, WHO, and departments of health from several countries. The purpose was to develop ten illustrative country case studies (forthcoming). Further details.
  • Center for Global Development, Washington D.C., May 6, 2014.
  • Presentation at PAHO with comments by Amanda Glassman, Center for Global Development, May 8, 2014.
  • Webinar via PAHO at May 8, 2014. Further details. You can view this webinar in English and in Spanish.
  • Priorities 2020 meeting in Bergen, May 11-13, 2014.
  • UCL & KCL Social Value Workshop, London, May 23, 2014.
  • WHO, Geneva, June 12, 2014.
  • Global Summit of National Bioethics Committees, Session on Universal Health Coverage, with comments on the report from National Ethics Committees of Mexico, Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Cuba, Tunisia and Sweden, June 22-23, 2014. Further details.
  • World Congress on Bioethics, Session on the Ethics of Universal Health Coverage, June 24-27. Further details.
  • Chilean Institute of Nutrition, Santiago, Chile, 6 October 2014.
  • National Health Technology Committee, Ministry of Health, Santiago, Chile, November 19 in an event on “Procesos en evaluación de tecnologías sanitarias: desde la evidencia a la recomendación”.
  • Global Health and Population Frontiers Seminar, December 9, 2014, Harvard University. Further details.
  • Medsin Conference: Global Health: The Bottom Line, March 8, 2015, London.
  • Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Conference on “Advancing toward Universal Health
    Coverage through Smart Choices.” Washington D.C. Spring 2015. Further details.
  • Theory and Practice Roundtable: Fulfilling Rights, Realising Goals and Meeting Duties in the Drive towards Universal Health Coverage, June 25-26, 2015 UCL.
  • Conference on the Ethics of Priority-Setting co-organized by PAHO and the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan, September 16-17.
  • Presentation to the Colombian Ministry of Health in Bogotá, December 1, 2015.
  • Presented to an academic audience in Cali, December 3, 2015.
  • Presented at the Prince Madihol Conference on Priority Setting for Universal Health Coverage, Bangkok, January 2016.
  • Conference on 20 years of the Health Law, Ministry of Health, The Netherlands, March 13, 2016.
  • Launch of the Spanish version of the Report at PAHO, Washington DC, December 1, 2016, with commentary by health-technology assessment leaders from Argentina, Colombia and the Department of Health Economics, World Bank.


Political impact of the report

  • The Report formed the basis of a question to the European Commission in the European Parliament by Nicola Caputo on January 6, 2015.
  • It has influenced the Norwegian Government’s Report: ‘Open and Fair: Priorities in Health’ (2014).
  • It has also influenced the decision by the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to establish a Center for Medical Ethics and Priority Setting at the College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University. Authors of the report have set up a training programme in these areas for teachers of medical ethics and priority setting at Ethiopian universities.


Media and Press

  • Notice of the report on Health Space Asia, June 2014.


Members of the WHO Consultative Group:

Trygve Ottersen,* Ole F Norheim,*

Bona M Chitah, Richard Cookson, Norman Daniels, Frehiwot B Defaye, Nir Eyal, Walter Flores, Axel Gosseries, Daniel Hausman, Samia A Hurst, Lydia Kapiriri, Toby Ord, Shlomi Segall, Gita Sen, Alex Voorhoeve, Daniel Wikler, Alicia E Yamin

WHO staff:

Tessa T T Edejer, Andreas Reis, Ritu Sadana, Carla Saenz

* Lead authors