Solutions for financing health systems
22 November 2010
Health-care costs are rising, populations are aging, chronic diseases are increasing and new and more expensive treatments are becoming available, making financing health care ever more challenging. This year's World Health Report "Health Systems Financing: The path to universal coverage" estimates that 20-40% of all health spending is currently wasted through inefficiency and provides 10 leading areas where better policies and practices could increase the impact of expenditures. Decision-makers need to know the situation, make the right choices and spend appropriately. "All countries can look to improve efficiency by taking a more strategic approach when providing or buying health services e.g. decide which services to purchase based on information on the health needs of the population…", says the Report. As described in the Report, effective health systems financing relies on functional health information systems. At the very minimum, the health information systems ought to provide "information on coverage of those in need,…", obtainable from civil registration and vital statistics systems. The Health Metrics Network is working with low-income and lower-middle income countries to strengthen their civil registration systems. At its December 2010 meeting, the HMN Executive Board approved a series of grants for projects to monitor vital events (MOVE-IT for the MDGs) in countries.