Guide to producing reproductive health subaccounts
Within the national health accounts
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 use of resources and highlighting gaps in spending. The present document offers detailed guidelines on the construction of health accounts for reproductive healthcare, an area that has been widely acknowledged as key to progress towards the MIDGs. 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 reproductive health, including among others antenatal care, child birth and family planning. Particular attention is given to exactly what needs to be measured, and how spending should be assigned to the different activities so as to obtain the most useful information for policy- making. With extensive practical examples, as well as helpful suggestions based on experience in preparing such subaccounts in three countries, this guide is likely to become an essential tool for all those concerned with managing the financing of reproductive health care.