Health financing for universal coverage

Third Advanced Course on Health Financing for Universal Coverage for low and middle income countries

Second Advanced Course on Health Financing for Universal Coverage course conducted in Barcelona, June 2015

WHO is pleased to announce its third Advanced Course on Health Financing for universal health coverage (UHC) for low- and middle-income countries, to be held from 13 to 17 June 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. This week-long advanced training programme is organized by WHO’s Health Financing Policy team based in Geneva, and delivered in collaboration with the WHO Regional Office for Europe (Barcelona Office for Health System Strengthening).

New publication: health financing country diagnostic

The health financing country diagnostic provides step-by-step guidance on how to undertake a comprehensive situation analysis of a country’s health financing system. This guide considers a number of issues including the current of level, mix and sources of funding for the health sector and institutional arrangements for health financing. It also assesses the performance of the system against the objectives and goals of universal health coverage (UHC).

The guide is written for Ministries of Health and other actors responsible for developing and implementing health financing policies, as well as those in an advisory role.

Earmarking Revenues for Health

B. Mathivet/WHO

As part of the Montreux Collaborative Agenda, WHO is collecting and synthesizing qualitative country experience with mobilizing revenue for the health sector through earmarks. In collaboration with the Joint Learning Network for UHC, WHO has developed a typology to characterize all earmarking policy instruments for the health sector and a new living database to compile and categorize all cases of earmarking revenues for health. There is also a platform for users to add to the database by providing information on additional country examples or to validate and refine information that is already included.

OASIS material available in French

WHO/B. Mathivet

The Organizational ASsessment for Improving and Strengthening Health Financing (OASIS) is an analytical approach that can be used to assess a country's current health financing situation and the way it functions and performs. OASIS can help understand a system’s strengths and weaknesses and get a deeper understanding of the reasons for good or inadequate performance and can identify bottlenecks in institutional design and organizational practice. It also helps inform policy and efforts to develop reform options to move towards universal health coverage.

Fiscal space, public finance management and health financing policy

WHO convened health and finance officials and experts from a dozen countries and several partner agencies meeting, including the World Bank, the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, PEPFAR and the GAVI Alliance, UNAIDS, the UK Department for International Development, the Providing for Health Network, and the OECD in Montreux, Switzerland in December 2014. The meeting looked at how government health budgets, the largest single element of public funding, can be both increased and better spent to drive health system performance. A collaborative agenda for future work with specific products and timelines was agreed.

Health financing for universal coverage

Universal health coverage (UHC) aims to ensure that everyone, everywhere, can access quality health services without facing financial hardship as a result. Every year 100 million people are pushed into poverty and 150 million people globally suffer financial catastrophe annually because of out-of-pocket expenditure on health services. Financial protection is at the core of UHC and improving financial protection is a central focus of health financing policy.


WHO financing healthcare: On the path to universal coverage

The road to universal health

News and events

Explaining key concepts in global health

Health systems strengthening, universal health coverage, health security and resilience. What do these concepts actually mean? An article in the January 2016 edition of the WHO bulletin explains more.

Global and national initiatives that focus on health systems strengthening, universal health coverage, health security, and resilience suffer when these terms are not well understood or are believed to be different ways of saying the same thing. The authors help understanding and highlight key policy considerations by identifying critical attributes of each concept and emphasizing the distinction between ends and means in health policy.

Case study-reports on improving health system efficiency

Improving health system efficiency

Ten country case-studies are synthesised in this report on improving efficiency in health systems, covering policy reforms focusing on a range of issues including essential drug policy and regulation, benefit package design, provider payment methods, social health insurance market structure, aid coordination, and human resources for health.

Raising revenues for health in support of UHC: strategic issues for policy makers. Health financing policy brief N°1


Governments should aim to move towards a predominant reliance on public funding for health, as evidence shows this increases access to health services and improves financial protection for the population. This key message in a new policy brief about raising revenues for health in support of universal health coverage.

Web consultation on an UHC accountability framework

WHO is working with other partners to strengthen accountability for universal health coverage (UHC) at local, national, regional and global levels. We welcome your collaboration to develop the proposals presented in the Options paper by completing the online consultation.