Health financing for universal coverage

First Advanced Course on Health Financing for Universal Coverage conducted in Tunis

The first World Health Organization Advanced Course on Health Financing for Universal Coverage took place in Tunis, Tunisia from 16-20 June 2014. A total of 55 participants from 27 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 the goals of universal health coverage. The course focused specifically on the context of low and middle income countries and complements the Barcelona Course on Health Financing which focuses on the WHO European Region.

“All the sessions of the course have been very useful given the task we face, and the plans we are now making to drive the health system in Liberia towards universal health coverage.”

Matthew Flomo, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Liberia

“In Sudan we are formulating a Roadmap for UHC, and this course has been highly important to help us refine this plan. All the sessions connected like a chain and complemented each other perfectly.”

Mohamed El Mahi, Director of Quality & Health Economist, National Health Insurance Fund, Sudan

“The lessons learnt and the country experiences that were shared in the course were very useful to take back to Nigeria, for our work supporting the Ministry and the insurance agency to help move the country towards UHC.”

Abiodun Awosusi, Health Financing Officer, Management Sciences for Health, MoH Nigeria

The course provided an opportunity for senior policy makers representing a range of stakeholders to reflect on their own health system, analyse the problems it faces, and discuss policies or reforms they are planning with experts and counterparts from a range of countries.

The course was designed and delivered by the Health Financing Policy team in the Department of Health Systems Governance and Financing at WHO Geneva, with invited Keynote Speakers including Viroj Tangcharoensathien (Senior Advisor, Ministry of Health Thailand) and Professor Diane McIntyre (School of Public Health and Family Medicine at the University of Cape Town) who talked about theme of how to extend coverage to those people not working in formal employment, a challenge faced by most low and middle income countries.

The course offers a comprehensive framework to think through the main health financing policy issues, including raising revenues for health services, pooling those revenues, and then purchasing a defined set of services from health facilities, all with a focus on steering health systems towards universal health coverage.

Sessions were highly interactive, with participants also working in teams on a group work task which involved analysing the current Indonesian health system. The challenge was to come up with a proposal for health financing policy reforms to promote UHC given the current starting point in Indonesia.

Support for the course from the Government of Japan and UNDP is gratefully acknowledged.

The course will be held annually. For further details, see the general course information.