WASHINGTON, D.C. — The World Health Organization (WHO) and Results for Development (R4D) have released three new resources to help health and finance policymakers and administrators make more effective, efficient and equitable use of public funding to advance universal health coverage (UHC). They include:
- Aligning Public Financial Management and Heath Financing: Sustaining Progress Toward Universal Health Coverage.
- Earmarking for Health: From Theory to Practice.
- Aligning Public Financial Management and Health Financing Systems: A Process Guide for Identifying Issues and Fostering Dialogue
These working papers and process guide aim to support dialogue at the country level to better align public financial management systems and health financing for UHC. They were developed by experts at the WHO and R4D, as part of the Collaborative Agenda on Fiscal Space, Public Financial Management and Health Financing Policy.
“We know that countries need to combine a move toward greater public financing with measures to align these funds with priorities and drive efficiency gains. This requires close engagement between national health and finance authorities to ensure that reforms are embedded in the budget process,” said Joseph Kutzin, leader of the health financing team at the World Health Organization. “Without such actions, reforms will remain at pilot stage, and we will not see sustained progress toward UHC.”
Effective health financing policy is critical for supporting country movement toward UHC. Sustaining this progress requires a country’s health financing system to routinely generate sufficient — and largely domestic — resources to expand and sustain access to high-quality health services with financial protection. But more money for health will not help achieve UHC if it cannot be used effectively to ensure priority services and interventions reach the people who need them.
“Sometimes we focus too much on mobilizing additional resources for health, but the real potential is in being able to use existing funds more effectively.” said Cheryl Cashin, senior program director at Results for Development. “This often requires more focused dialogue between ministries of health and ministries of finance to make sure health budget allocations match priorities — both in the level of funding and how that funding reaches frontline providers to deliver priority services and interventions.”
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About Results for Development
Results for Development (R4D) is a leading non-profit global development partner. We collaborate with change agents around the world — government officials, civil society leaders and social innovators — to create strong systems that support healthy, educated people. We help our partners move from knowing their goal to knowing how to reach it. We combine global expertise in health, education and nutrition with analytic rigor, practical support for decision-making and implementation and access to peer problem-solving networks. Together with our partners, we build self-sustaining systems that serve everyone and deliver lasting results. Then we share what we learn so others can achieve results for development, too. For more information, visit our website at: www.r4d.org.