The Bulletin series: Health systems financing
Health systems financing and the path to universal coverage
Donor commitments to health have increased more than fourfold since the Millennium Declaration was signed in September 2000, reaching more than US$ 20 billion in 2008. Despite this, progress towards some of the health Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been disappointing in many settings. The simple act of raising more international funds cannot, by itself, achieve the Goals if the health system is too weak to support the rapid scale-up of service coverage. Where there are insufficient health workers and health facilities, or where people can’t obtain health care because they cannot afford to pay, supporting actions are needed.
Domestic health financing systems must be robust enough to attain and sustain increased coverage. Financing for universal coverage is based on two interlinked foundations. The first is to ensure that financial barriers do not prevent people from using the services they need – prevention, promotion, treatment and rehabilitation. The second is to ensure that they do not suffer financial hardship because they have to pay for these services.
Linking health to microfinance to reduce poverty
- Sheila Leatherman & Christopher Dunford
Is there a role for user charges? Thoughts on health system reform in Armenia
- Matthew Jowett & Elizabeth Danielyan
Women and children first: an appropriate first step towards universal coverage
- Rob Yates
Taskforce on Innovative International Financing for Health Systems: showing the way forward
- Robert Fryatt & Anne Mills
Taskforce on Innovative International Financing for Health Systems: what next?
- David McCoy & Nouria Brikci
Spanish health district tests a new public–private mix
China’s new health plan targets vulnerable
Thailand: health care for all, at a price
Spectre of ageing population worries economists
What? No waiting lists?
Nigerian farmers rejoice in pilot insurance plan
Reality check for American dream
India tries to break cycle of health-care debt
Rough roads to better care
Brazil’s march towards universal coverage
New Zealand cuts health spending to control costs
Bridging the gap in South Africa