World Health Day: How to Advocate For Better Healthcare


The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated April 7 as World Health Day. 2023 will mark the 75th anniversary of this global day, which aims to look at public health successes and challenges. The theme for 2023 is “Health For All,” and this message stresses the importance of effectiveness within a healthcare system. 

The WHO has also included the “7 + 5 health stories” to mark the improvements of healthcare throughout the past 75 years. When the constitution was drafted in 1948, the WHO aimed to work toward the mission of “Health For All.” The mission stated that health is a human right and a foundation for peace and security. Some of the issues the stories cover include standards of health, disease prevention, and antimicrobial resistance.

So, here are seven ways to advocate for better standards of health: 

1. Research health policies 

Read up on legislation affecting standards of care. Study which types of care are deemed as appropriate, and which types of policies can affect quality of care. For example, researchers noticed the law doesn’t clearly define which level of government has responsibility over health insurance. It’s important to notice these barriers so you can observe how these policies can affect others in a difficult situation. 

2. Educate yourself on the effects of Universal Health Care 

Countries around the world prioritize their healthcare system differently. Some prioritize privatized care, whereas others prioritize public health care. Universal health coverage (UHC) is when people have access to the healthcare services they need without financial difficulties. 

Although UHC may sound ideal, it may be inequitable. Some countries that adopt the UHC model exclude non-citizens and recent immigrants. If this is the case, you can advocate for more service coverage. After all, we need coverage for an unforeseen situation.

3. Research resources available 

You can research resources to help eliminate the barriers to those who need healthcare services. Some resources for advocacy include HealthCareCAN (for those in Canada), FrameWorks Institute, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. You can also look throughout the WHO and UN’s websites and see how you can take action on a global level. 

4. Raise awareness about healthcare issues

For World Health Day, you can participate in campaigns on social media to raise awareness about healthcare issues. Moreover, you can post on social media and write about a healthcare issue you are very passionate about. If you’re feeling brave enough, you can start your own social media campaign and have your friends participate. 

5. Get involved with events  

You can also get involved with events to campaign for a cause. For example, there are events and discussions at local universities about mental wellness policies and how they’re impacting students. If you’re interested in these discussions and would like to learn more about advocating for change, attend an event and learn more about the issue. 

6. Write letters to the Ministry of Health and the Senate 

If there are cuts to healthcare and social services, you can also advocate through direct action, such as by writing letters to the Ministry of Health and the Senate. Remember to include the purpose of your letter, your understanding of the issue, your stance on the issue, the effects of the issue on others, and the suggested changes to implement. Include a call to action and keep the letter short and sweet, but informative. 

7. Assess how healthcare systems affect you

Observe how the healthcare systems around you are affecting your own well-being. Do you constantly find that you have to wait a long time in the emergency room? Or, do you feel your school health insurance isn’t covering the services you need? When you assess how these systems affect you, you can begin to advocate for your needs. Learn about the healthcare act and speak up for your rights. And make sure to advocate to others and explain your situation. 

Since World Health Day aims to address multiple issues within the healthcare system, one of the ways to identify and rectify these issues is through advocacy. You can practice advocacy through education, outreach, research, and campaigning, as long as you deliver the message. For World Health Day, let’s understand and try to break down systematic barriers for others as much as possible.

Feature Image by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels



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