Health financing

Data and statistics

Spending targets for health: no magic number


February 2019 - Absolute levels of public funding are critical to UHC progress; however, health systems vary significantly in what they achieve for a given level of spending. In a new analysis of core health service coverage rates relative to public spending on health, in 83 low- and middle-income countries, variation is particularly evident at levels below PPP$ 40 per capita (public). Whilst a range of non-health system factors influence a country’s performance, this analysis demonstrates the importance of focusing not only on raising more revenues for health, but also on ensuring available funds are spent efficiently.

Global health expenditure database update

WHO Global health expenditure database

WHO is pleased to release new health expenditure estimates for the period 2000 to 2015 through its updated Global Health Expenditure Database. The database includes more than 190 WHO Member States in line with the new system of health accounts (SHA 2011). New classifications now capture more accurately health financing reforms taking place in Member States, renewing and enhancing efforts to provide both citizens and policymakers with an accurate picture of internationally comparable data. The new data enables more insightful and policy relevant analysis to be conducted that was previously possible. WHO welcomes feedback on this initial release of data.

Data Portal on universal health coverage launched

Universal health coverage data portal

January 2017 – WHO has launched a new data portal to track progress towards universal health coverage (UHC) around the world. The portal features the latest data on access to health services globally and for each of WHO’s 194 Member States, along with an assessment of equity in access. Information is provided for tracer indicators, with country profiles showing trends over time. During 2017, the latest data on the impact that paying for health services has on household finances will be added. The portal highlights areas of high unmet need in countries, and also shows where information needs to be improved.

Monitoring financial protection in health in the SDGs

Illustration of Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals
UN Photo for sustainable development knowledge platform

11 October 2016 – The Inter-Agency Expert Group (IAEG) tasked with developing a framework of indicators to monitor the Sustainable Development Goals has accepted the WHO and World Bank’s joint proposal to refine indicator 3.8.2. This indicator will monitor progress towards financial protection as a core dimension of universal health coverage with a valid impact indicator defined as the “proportion of population with large household expenditures on heath as a share of total household expenditure or income”. This is welcome modification supported by civil society, academia, and policy makers alike.