|Health systems have multiple goals,
but the fundamental reason they exist is to improve health. Yet health systems with very
similar levels of health expenditure per capita show wide variations in population health
outcomes. Part can be explained by variation in non-health system factors, such as the
level of education of the population. But part can also be explained by the fact that some
systems devote resources to expensive interventions with small effects on population
health, while at the same time low cost interventions with potentially greater benefits
are not fully implemented.
analysis (CEA) is one tool decision-makers can use to assess and potentially improve the
performance of their health systems. It indicates which interventions provide the highest
"value for money" and helps them choose the interventions and programmes which
maximize health for the available resources.