Producing national health accounts
To be successful in producing reliable and valid results the NHA project requires resources. A NHA team of people with the skills and aptitudes necessary for the task needs to be assembled. This technically oriented NHA team should be overseen by a more policy-oriented steering committee.
The production of NHA is a process of collecting and organizing the data, analyzing the results for health policy, and disseminating the information to the stakeholders.
The Guide to producing national health accounts – with special applications for low-income and middle-income countries adapts the international classification of Health Accounts (ICHA) published in “A System of Health Accounts” (SHA) by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), but provides flexibility to include classifications suited to low and middle-income countries*. This guide goes through the process of acquiring and evaluating data and provides step-by-step examples of how to turn raw data into information useful for policy analysis and development.
While many low and middle-income countries* are using NHA, only a few countries have taken steps towards conducting NHA on a regular and sustained basis. This process is called institutionalization in which NHA activities, structures, and values become an integral and sustainable part of government operations. A unit is designated to oversee the collection, analysis, and reporting of health expenditure data in a routine and systematic fashion, with the support of the government. In order to ensure that NHA remains an effective policy tool in the future, institutionalization should be a goal from the initiation.
Four steps are essential to the process of institutionalizing NHA:
a) Create demand on the part of policymakers for institutionalization;
b) Determine a location where NHA is housed;
c) Establish standards for data collection and analysis;
d) Institute data reporting requirements.
*World Bank income group classification
Queries could be directed to Expert group which consists of a panel of experts.