Pathology and laboratory medicine in universal health coverage

Michael L. Wilson


Diagnostics, including both cellular pathology as well as all subspecialties of laboratory medicine, should be an integral part of national plans to implement universal health coverage (UHC). In most of the world, however, diagnostics are either lacking altogether or are of poor quality, do not produce results in a timely manner, or are unaffordable to large parts of populations creating inequitable access. More recently a number of publications have increased recognition of the essentiality of diagnostics in healthcare systems at national and international levels. These publications have described the essentiality of diagnostics in healthcare, started to analyze the barriers to increasing and improving access to diagnostics, described some of the solutions to solving those barriers, and created some proposed pathways forward. This review will summarize the most recent information on diagnostics in UHC.