Health financing for universal coverage

New report on public financing for health in Africa

23 August 2016 – Fifteen years ago, African leaders pledged to increase health spending to 15% of total government expenditure. Since then health spending has reached an average of 10%. Still, as economies have grown, a number of challenges are hampering progress towards universal health coverage. A new WHO report examines trends in public financing in Africa and the critical role played by public financial management systems.

New e-learning course on health financing and UHC

WHO offers a number of e-learning courses on health financing policy. Background image of two small children holding each other.

August 2016 -- Do you want to learn more about how health financing policy can support universal health coverage? We are delighted to present our new online e-learning course. With modules to help you explore key topics such as Revenue Raising, Pooling, Purchasing and Benefit Package Design, this course is foundational and designed for participants of various levels. If you are interested, please register to take this course.

Health financing course in Barcelona

Robert Ramos

In June 2016, the third WHO Advanced Course on Health Financing for Universal Coverage for low- and middle-income countries took place in Barcelona, Spain. Participants 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 universal health coverage.

Visit our data and statistics page

Smiling girls near the railway tracks at Mahim, Mumbai - March 2015.
WHO/D Rodriguez

Please take a look at our revamped data and statistics page. Here you can find global health financing databases, and reports on global finance and health. Also, find out about a country's health financing system through key data and statistics. A range of maps illustrate expenditure on health and the latest health financing indicators per WHO member state.

Health financing topics

Our website now includes information on a range of key topics in health financing policy. We are continually adding new topics to this section, with the aim of providing a summary of the key policy issues and messages, definitions, priority references and other information such as recent events and links to training opportunities.

Current topics include the core functions of health financing policy, and other issues such as public health taxes, earmarking revenues for health, financial protection, and public financial management. If you have suggestions or comments please let us know.

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.

Recent highlights

Joint WHO-WB course for francophone countries on UHC

The 2nd francophone course on UHC took place in Rabat, Morocco on June 27-30, 2016.

Alternative financing strategies for universal health coverage

This chapter synthesizes theory, lessons and practice into principles to guide country-level financing reforms.

Health system efficiency

Ten country case studies demonstrate the effects of improving efficiency in health systems.

Fiscal space, public financial management and health financing

Meeting held in Montreux 26-28 April 2016 to showcase ongoing work as part of the jointly agreed collaborative agenda.

Health financing country diagnostic

This document provides guidance on how to undertake a situation analysis of a country’s health financing system.

Monitoring financial protection in the SDGs

Find out how to use the indicator 3.8.2 of the SDGs.