Health financing

What is health financing for universal coverage?

WHO Fifth Advanced Course on Health Financing for Universal Coverage 2018: registration now open

WHO is pleased to announce its fifth Advanced Course on Health Financing for Universal Coverage for Low and Middle Income Countries, to be held from 18 to 22 June 2018 in Tunis, Tunisia. The course is structured in line with WHO’s approach to thinking and analysing health financing policy and its role in improving health system performance, in particular making progress towards universal health coverage. The deadline for applications is Thursday 1 March 2018 at midnight (Geneva, Switzerland time).

WHO e-learning course on health financing: nearly 3500 registered


Since its launch in August 2016, nearly 3500 participants have now registered for the WHO e-learning course on health financing for UHC. Participants from over 150 countries from all regions and all income levels are now registered. This is a course which targets participants of all levels of experience and expertise. The course is now used as preparation for those attending WHO face-to-face course on health financing, or as a review for those who wish to simply refresh their knowledge. Arabic, French and Russian versions of the course will be launched later in the year.

Save the date: WHO 2018 symposium on health financing for UHC

Shutterstock, Shahid Khan

What does making progress in health financing, in support of UHC mean? How do countries know they're headed in the right direction? What political strategies facilitate progress? To address these questions, WHO’s Department of Health Systems Governance and Financing will host a one-day symposium on Health Financing for UHC on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 as a satellite session to the 5th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Liverpool.

Global health expenditure database update

WHO Global health expenditure database

WHO is pleased to release new health expenditure estimates for the period 2000 to 2015 through its updated Global Health Expenditure Database. The database includes more than 190 WHO Member States in line with the new system of health accounts (SHA 2011). New classifications now capture more accurately health financing reforms taking place in Member States, renewing and enhancing efforts to provide both citizens and policymakers with an accurate picture of internationally comparable data. The new data enables more insightful and policy relevant analysis to be conducted than was previously possible. WHO welcomes feedback on this initial release of data.

Tracking universal health coverage: 2017 global monitoring report

2017 global monitoring report on universal health coverage
WHO/SEARO/Sanjit Das

14 December 2017 - Universal health coverage (UHC) means that all people can obtain the health services they need without suffering financial hardship. This report shows that more than half of the world’s more than 7.3 billion people do not receive all of the essential services they need. Over 800 million people spend at least 10 percent of their household budgets to pay for health care, and about 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty due to their health expenditures.

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.