Health financing

Public financing for UHC: towards implementation

WHO Symposium on Health Financing for UHC

Date: 30 October – 02 November 2017
Location: Montreux, Switzerland

Web streaming of the event, 31st October 2017


WHO’s Department of Health Systems Governance and Financing held a meeting to share and exchange knowledge on experiences and best practices in the field of public finance and health financing. This event built from the foundation set during the December 2014 and April 2016 meetings of this Collaborative Agenda on Fiscal Space, Public Financial Management, and Health Financing, which mapped the key issues and questions related to this technical area, and also developed the conceptual foundations for particular sub-topics.

As the third in this series of global meetings, discussions and presentations centred on the practical issues countries face in implementing policies and reforms that intend to institutionalize and sustain progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Representatives of national health and finance ministries and other relevant government bodies, partner agencies, foundations, initiatives, and civil society organizations were brought together to delve into specific technical issues, build consensus, motivate collaboration, and push the knowledge agenda forward with respect to how to mobilize and use public funds to finance better health in countries.

The objectives of this meeting were:

  • To engage and build on the evidence base for how countries can implementing strategies to mobilize and use public funds to finance progress towards UHC.
  • To continue to push the knowledge forward through discussions that identify priority areas for the ongoing collaborative agenda.

A pre-meeting was organized on 30 October, focusing on health budgeting and budget structure issues.

The objectives of this pre-meeting were:

  • To share country experiences and gain first-hand lessons from other countries on health budgeting practices.
  • To unpack the complex issue of budget restructuring in the health sector, and identify key design and implementation issues, and possible remedial actions, for future budget transitions.
  • To identify and discuss knowledge gaps in the transition toward program-budgeting in health.


Below is the initial list of the topics covered in each session. In each case, the emphasis was on country implementation experience. Please see the full meeting agenda and related presentations for more details.

  • Day 1: Public financing for UHC – moving to implementation
  • Day 2: Public Financial Management (PFM)– translating concepts into practice
  • Day 3: Focus on decentralization and mapping the future of the Collaborative Agenda