Health financing

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Cross-programmatic efficiency approach is now available in French

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Many countries rely on health programs to target specific diseases or interventions. These programs often operate independently of one another; leading to overlaps and duplications across core health system functions and an inefficient use of available resources. This diagnostic approach helps identify critical “cross-programmatic inefficiencies” that can be addressed through changes to specific aspects of how programs are configured and operate within the overall health system. This document is now available in English and French.

Budgeting reforms for UHC – new WHO country case studies

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12 December 2018 - Public financing is the key to UHC. It is essential that budgets reflect health policy priorities. Motivated by this, WHO’s Department of Health Systems Governance and Financing has initiated a programme of work to support Ministries of Health to engage more effectively in budgeting reforms. As part of this work, WHO together with country experts and health ministries are developing a series of country case studies. The first two case studies on Burkina Faso and Armenia are released today in English, French and Russian. Other case studies and a synthesis of findings will be released in 2019.

Public Spending on Health: A Closer Look at Global Trends

12 December – The 2018 global health financing report presents health spending data for all WHO Member States between 2000 and 2016 based on the SHA 2011 methodology. In addition, the report takes an in-depth look at three issues, patterns of public spending on equity and access, patterns of public spending on primary health care, and patterns of public spending by disease, revealing some interesting new evidence.

WHO reference guide on national health financing strategies now available in four languages


28 November 2018 - This reference guide is based on many years of WHO’s support to members states in the development of health financing policy and strategies. Rather than prescribing a particular process, or set of health financing arrangements, the guide proposes a set of guiding principles, and key issues to address, as the basis for developing a comprehensive health financing policy. The document builds on, and should be read together with, earlier guidance on conducting a diagnostic analysis of a country’s current health financing system. The document is now available in Arabic, English, French and Russian.

Financial protection analysis in eight countries in the WHO South-East Asia


The South East Asia Region (SEARO) continues to have the highest health out-of-pocket share of total health expenditure among all WHO regions. As a result, substantial number of people in South-East Asia experienced financial hardship when accessing health services.

The new WHO study demonstrates that the key driver of these high out-of-pocket payments is spending on medicines. Several countries have introduced policies to make medicines more available, but the findings of the study indicate that these have had limited effect and further action is needed to support progress towards universal health coverage.

All documents and publications on the WHO health financing policy website are listed here sorted by document type for easy access. Please choose a category below to access the documents. The list is updated continually.