Health financing for universal coverage

New: “Strategic purchasing for UHC” global meeting report now available

WHO’s Department of Health Systems Governance and Financing held a global meeting entitled “Strategic purchasing for UHC: unlocking the potential” from 25-27 April 2017 in Geneva. This report summarizes key messages and directions for future work on the five themes explored during the meeting: benefit design; mixed provider payment systems; pay for performance and results based financing; information management systems; and governance issues in strategic purchasing. The discussions around a global collaborative agenda to coordinate future work are also reported here.

Fourth Advanced Course on Health Financing for Universal Coverage for low and middle income countries

Second Advanced Course on Health Financing for Universal Coverage course conducted in Barcelona, June 2015

The fourth WHO Advanced Course on Health Financing for Universal Coverage for low- and middle-income countries took place in Barcelona, Spain from 12-16 June 2017. Forty seven participants from nineteen countries came together for this one-week-long training course to discuss how health financing policy can be used to improve health system performance in support of universal health coverage.

Towards UHC: thinking public

July 2017 - Public financing is central to making progress toward universal health coverage (UHC). By applying a method to separate out external sources of public expenditure on health, a new WHO publication – Towards UHC: thinking public – sheds light on the actual role of domestic public funds in financing health. It provides a powerful call for countries to “think public” as they develop their health financing strategies in support of UHC.

Free health care policies

Community volunteers treating malaria and pneumonia in Burkina Faso

June 2017 - 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.

Recent highlights

Pay-for-performance debate: not seeing the forest for the trees

A new commentary on P4P has been published in the Journal Health Systems & Reform.

Aligning PFM and health financing

The document offers guidance for improving alignment between PFM systems and health financing policy in support of UHC.

Earmarking for health: from theory to practice

A new publication sheds light on the realities of earmarking revenues for health.

Public financing for health in Africa: from Abuja to the SDGs

This report highlights opportunities for accelerated progress toward universal health coverage (UHC).

Universal coverage

Universal health coverage (UHC) means that all people and communities can use the promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services they need, of sufficient quality to be effective, while also ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the user to financial hardship.