Health financing for universal coverage

Aligning PFM and health financing


23 March 2017 - Progress towards UHC requires sustainable public financing that is channelled through strong and responsive public financial management (PFM) systems. PFM improvements generally benefit the health sector. However, specific health sector challenges require flexibility to enable effective implementation of health financing policies. This document lays out areas where PFM systems are crucial for the effective implementation of health financing policy in support of UHC and offers guidance for improving alignment. It is meant to facilitate productive dialog between health and finance authorities to enable a coordinated reform approach.

Feedback survey on health financing activities and website

A woman taking a test.

13 March 2017 – During 2016 WHO finalised a revamp of its health financing website to make it more useful for users, launched the first e-learning course on health financing policy now with over 2 000 participants, and on Universal Health Coverage Day 2016 established the online Health Financing Technical Network to connect globally those interested in health financing policy.

We continually aim to improve the information and platforms we provide and welcome feedback on how to improve further. Please take our short survey to help us improve further.

Fiscal space for health: new resource page from WHO

Calculator and stethoscope on top of printed diagram
Shutterstock/Chompoo Suriyo

February 2017 – All countries, whatever their levels of income, face the question of how to find additional resources for health in a sustainable and realistic manner. Fiscal space commonly refers to the budgetary room in which a government can provide resources for public purposes without undermining fiscal sustainability.

The concept of fiscal space in health helps to place health within the context of the broader economic and fiscal environment, and looks at ways to improve the use of sector resources. The drive to implement universal health coverage has reinvigorated the interest in this topic.

Implementation of the Universal Access with Explicit Guarantees (AUGE) reform: Chile case study

The manner by which public and private health insurance developed in Chile resulted in a health financing system that segmented the population by income and health risk. This resulted in inequitable access and use of health services and outcomes, with the richer population covered by private insurance enjoying much greater benefits than the rest.

In 2005, a reform known as Universal Access with Explicit Guarantees (AUGE) was designed and implemented to provide a defined set of benefits to citizens irrespective of their public or private insurance status.

Recent highlights

Data availability to monitor SDG indicator 3.8.2

Measuring health service coverage and financial protection to assess countries’ progress towards UHC.

Strategic purchasing: an emerging agenda for Africa

Bilingual one-day workshop on strategic purchasing on 29 September 2016 in Rabat, Morocco.

Public financing for health in Africa: from Abuja to the SDGs

This report highlights opportunities for accelerated progress toward universal health coverage (UHC).

Spending targets for health: no magic number

This analysis demonstrates the importance of focusing on ensuring available funds are spent efficiently.