Health Accounts

Guide to producing child health subaccounts

Within the national accounts frameworks


Publication details

Publication date: 2012
Languages: English
ISBN: 9789241503013



National Health Accounts are widely recognised as a valuable tool in the stewardship of a country’s health system. Such accounts provide a systematic compilation and display of health expenditure, tracing how much was spent, where, on what and by whom. As such, they can play an essential role in efforts to assess the performance of the system and identify opportunities for improvement. However, policy makers often need more detailed information, for instance on spending levels and patterns for particular components of health care. As governments seek to meet their commitment to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), such information will be invaluable in allowing a more effective us e of resources and highlighting gaps in spending.

The present document offers detailed guidelines on the construction of health accounts for child health care, an area that is specifically targeted on in MDG4. Building on previous guides on the production of national health accounts, it shows how the various techniques and approaches can be used to focus on the specific categories of spending that contribute to child health. Every year, some 9 million children under the age of five die. If this figure is to be significantly reduced, policy- makers and programme managers will need to base their decisions on reliable information, including financial information. Child health subaccounts can make a major contribution to providing such information, allowing resources to be rationally allocated between competing needs, strategic priorities to be set, and sustainable funding for child health programmes and strategies to be ensured.