Universal Financial Coverage

International Health Policy Programme, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand
International Health Policy Programme Team, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand

The Alliance led a programme of work, in 2008, aiming to identify high priority health systems research questions in three thematic areas including health systems financing. Research priority questions were identified through interviews with key informants across 24 countries and through overview of systematic reviews. The following question: how do we develop and implement universal financial protection? was identified as one of the nineteen priority health systems financing research questions and was ranked first at the Nyon workshop in May 2008.

Based on the results of the priority setting exercise, the Alliance and the WHO Health Systems Financing Department issued a joint call in 2009, to support investigators based in low- and middle-income countries to conduct in-depth country case-studies on universal financial risk protection. Seven country case-studies were supported; Costa Rica, Georgia, India, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Thailand. The studies will help to identify factors that have facilitated or hindered the expansion of universal financial risk protection in these low- and middle-income countries.

The thematic series, entitled "Promoting Universal Financial Protection" presents the findings of the seven country case-studies as well as an overview article synthesizing key lessons from the experiences of these countries. The seven country case-studies and the overview article were published in Health Research Policy and Systems

The thematic series and the case-studies were financially supported by the Alliance and the Health Systems Financing Department. Technical support was provided by Professor Diane McIntyre and Dr Ayako Honda from the University of Cape Town, South Africa and by Kent Ranson and Bhupinder Kaur Aulakh from the Alliance.

Each country team is producing a policy brief providing key findings of the case-study results. Policy briefs are available under the countries project profiles below.