23 August 2016 – Fifteen years ago, African leaders pledged to increase health spending to 15% of total government expenditure. Since then health spending has reached an average of 10%. Still, as economies have grown, a number of challenges are hampering progress towards universal health coverage. A new WHO report examines trends in public financing in Africa and the critical role played by public financial management systems.
Health financing reforms are at the core of strategies to move towards universal health coverage (UHC). There is not one solution to every context, and this chapter synthesizes theory, lessons and financing reforms. It highlights the pitfalls on the path to UHC, and financial protection to the informal sector that comprises the majority of the population.
The health financing country diagnostic provides step-by-step guidance on how to undertake a comprehensive situation analysis of a country’s health financing system. This guide considers a number of issues including the current of level, mix and sources of funding for the health sector and institutional arrangements for health financing. It also assesses the performance of the system against the objectives and goals of universal health coverage (UHC).
The guide is written for Ministries of Health and other actors responsible for developing and implementing health financing policies, as well as those in an advisory role.
Raising revenues for health in support of UHC: strategic issues for policy makers
Governments should aim to move towards a predominant reliance on public funding for health, as evidence shows this increases access to health services and improves financial protection for the population. This is a key message in a new policy brief about raising revenues for health in support of universal health coverage.
The World Bank and WHO, together with the government of Japan, Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Global Fund, and the African Development Bank launched a joint paper on “UHC in Africa: A Framework for Action”. It provides a big-picture view of universal health coverage (UHC) in the region and identifies key areas which will be critical to achieving better health outcomes, such as financing, service delivery, targeting vulnerable populations, mobilizing critical sectors and political leadership.
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.