A pressing problem for countries aiming to provide universal health coverage is how to set fair and effective priorities under resource constraints. Such priorities will impact both level and distribution of health and well-being in a population. In this presentation, Ole Northeim argues that an ethical framework based on widely shared values can guide priority setting in health systems on their path towards universal health coverage. He critically discusses challenges in refining such a framework and the need for better data and evidence on what works. Norheim’s talk concludes with reflections and plans for work on Disease Control Priorities, 4th Edition.
Ole F. Norheim is a physician and Professor of Medical Ethics, Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen and Director of Bergen Center for Ethics and Priority Setting (BCEPS) at UiB. He is also Adjunct Professor of Global Health at the Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health (2015-2025).
Norheim’s wide-ranging research interests include theories of distributive justice, inequality in health, priority setting in health systems, and how to achieve Universal Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goal for health.
Norheim chaired the World Health Organization’s Technical Advisory Group on Health Benefit Packages (2019-21), WHO’s Consultative Group on Equity and Universal Health Coverage (2012-2014) and the third Norwegian National Committee on Priority Setting in Health Care (2013-2014).