Health financing for universal coverage

New publication on analysing efficiency across health programmes

A system-wide approach to analysing efficiency across health programmes

24 February 2017 – Individual health programmes can be well-run, but if they duplicate or misalign responsibilities with one another they can impose high costs on the health system. Health programmes should be viewed as part of the overall health system to identify ways to improve efficiency in how resources are allocated and deployed. This approach lays out a process to identify inefficiencies across health programmes that can be addressed through targeted policy action as a means to enable sustainable improvements in effective coverage of priority interventions.

Launch of the WHO Health Financing Technical Network

Smiling kinds, Philippines.
WHO/M Jowett

16 February 2017 – Following the launch of the WHO Health Financing Technical Network during the recent universal health coverage (UHC) Day event, WHO has launched its online community focused on health financing policy for UHC. This global network, previously based around sub-communities of those attending training courses, or workshops, is now open to all those interested in and working on health financing policy.

New topic launch: Fiscal space for health

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.

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


2 February 2017 – WHO is pleased to announce that its fourth Advanced Course on Health Financing for Universal Coverage for Low and Middle Income Countries will take place between 12-16 June 2017, in Barcelona, Spain. Applications are now being accepted through our online form and close on Thursday 2 March 2017 at midnight (Geneva time). This is an advanced course and accepted applicants will have extensive, relevant work experience and knowledge of health financing policy, and previous training in health systems and policy.

Spending targets: no magic number

Look at our new infographic on spending targets highlighting that in some low-and middle-income countries, good performance on UHC is happening with low spending; and poor performance on UHC is happening with relatively high spending. Whilst increasing public spending in health is central to move towards universal health coverage, even at low spending levels countries can make progress.

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.