Symposium: Public financing of health

9 APRIL 2010 | LONDON, UK

Organizer: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)
Event dates: 9 April 2010
Venue: London, United Kingdom


From left to right: Mr Joe Cerrell, Dr Julio Frenk, Dr Flavia Bustreo, Mr Stefan Emblad . Photo: WHO
From left to right: Mr Joe Cerrell, Dr Julio Frenk, Dr Flavia Bustreo, Mr Stefan Emblad . Photo: WHO

9 April 2010 | London - A new study published in The Lancet concludes that the commitment to health by country governments in the developing world has grown dramatically over the last two decades, but that that aid appears to be in part replacing domestic health spending instead of supplementing it.

The joint study - Public financing of health in developing countries: a cross-national systematic analysis - was developed by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington and Harvard Medical School.

The study appears in the April 9th issue of The Lancet. Researchers analyzed spending data from developing countries and health aid data from agencies, multilateral institutions, such as the World Health Organization and the International Monetary Fund, and hundreds of nonprofit groups and charities.

They found that data on government health spending are often missing entire years of information and can be difficult to reconcile. After overcoming the data challenges, researchers were able to identify two distinct trends. First, in sub-Saharan Africa where many governments receive significant health aid directly, the aid appears to be in part replacing domestic health spending instead of fully supplementing it. The researchers found, in those countries, that for every $1 spent in health aid, governments shifted between 43 cents and $1.14 of their own funds to other priorities. Conversely, in countries where nongovernmental organizations receive most of the aid and then apply it to projects inside the country, government health spending appears to have increased. Both trends merit further research, the authors say.

The joint study was launched during a day-long symposium that gathered experts in public health and public health financing. PMNCH Chair Dr Julian Schweitzer, incoming PMNCH Chair and Dean, Dr Julio Frenk and PMNCH Director, Dr Flavia Bustreo all participated with several presentations and moderator roles throughout the day.

Please find below more information about the study and other relevant documents and presentations.


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