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Strategic purchasing for UHC: Key policy issues and questions
A summary from expert and practitioners’ discussions

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Strategic purchasing is one of the main principles guiding health financing reforms to accelerate progress towards universal health coverage. The document outlines and frames five key policy issues that emerged from expert and practitioners’ discussions held at various meetings. These issues are critical for reforms to shift towards strategic purchasing and cover the following areas: governance, information management systems, benefit design; mixed provider payment systems; and managing alignment and dynamics.

New perspectives on global health spending for universal health coverage

WHO Report: New perspectives on global health spending for universal health coverage

12 December 2017 - Making progress towards universal health coverage requires the commitment of countries to mobilize and sustain adequate public funding for the health sector. This new WHO report summarizes the latest internationally comparable data on health expenditures in more than 190 WHO Member States between 200 and 2015. The report summarizes key global health expenditure patterns and trends, and illustrates the potential of the new Global Health Expenditure Database to inform thinking about financing reforms in support of policies which drive progress towards UHC; the report also raises a number of issues for further research.

Public financing for universal health coverage
A way to foster dialogue between finance and health

A figure on aligning public financial management and health financing systems.

23 October 2017 - Directing public funds towards services which address population health needs and other policy priorities is fundamental for a country's health system to move towards universal health coverage. This newly developed guide provides a process and framework to assist countries in identifying and then addressing critical misalignments between the public financial management system and health financing objectives. Through its application, health and finance authorities can engage in a collaborative and constructive dialogue in support of UHC.

Free health care policies – WHO policy brief now available in French

Community volunteers treating malaria and pneumonia in Burkina Faso

Free health care (FHC) policies – or politiques de gratuité – are about removing formal user fees either fully or partially for selected services and/or selected population groups. However, evidence about the impact of FHC policies in terms of financial protection and health service utilization is mixed. If well designed and implemented, FHC can be a way to expand coverage in countries with few resources and can therefore be part of a strategy and a catalyst to move towards universal health coverage.

All documents and publications on the WHO health financing policy website are listed here sorted by document type for easy access. Please choose a category below to access the documents. The list is updated continually.