Health financing

What is health financing for universal coverage?

World Health Day: WHO regional health financing reports

WHO/B Mathivet

6 April 2018 – A series of regional health financing reports, based on the latest evidence, and highlighting key policy issues facing countries as they make progress towards UHC were released by WHO. Each report focuses on a specific theme relevant to the countries in their region. The report on countries in the Americas focuses on exclusion and lack of access to quality services, which persist for large sectors of the population in this region. The transition to greater domestic financing for public health services is the focus of the Western Pacific regional report. Challenges in achieving better financial protection in high-income countries is discussed in the regional report for Europe.

Featured topic: financial protection

6 April 2018 – Financial protection is at the core of universal health coverage (UHC) and one of the final coverage goals. Health financing policy directly affects financial protection. Financial protection is achieved when direct payments made to obtain health services do not expose people to financial hardship and do not threaten living standards.
Out-of-pocket payments for health can cause households to incur catastrophic expenditures, which in turn can push them into poverty. Key to protecting people is to ensure prepayment and pooling of resources for health, rather than relying on people paying for health services out-of-pocket at the time of use.

New perspectives on global health spending for universal health coverage

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

6 April 2018 – 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 2000 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.

Recent highlights

Aligning PFM and health financing

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

Strategic purchasing for UHC: key policy issues and questions

A summary from expert and practitioners’ discussions

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.