Health financing

Budgeting in health

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Public funds are essential for universal health coverage (UHC). Budget allocation and execution rules and practices are crucial to support progress towards that goal. Specifically, the way budget is presented and organized determines how resources flow to and reflect sector priorities.

WHO provides technical guidance on both why and how to improve the effectiveness of budgeting reforms in the health sector.

Budgeting in health in more detail

Key points on budgeting in health

No country has made significant progress towards universal health coverage (UHC) without increasing the extent to which its health system relies on public revenue sources.

Health budget classification systems: what is it and why it matters

While countries differ in the size and scope of their budgeting challenges, governments increasingly accept that the preparation and formulation of public budgets is an important health sector concern, and should involve all stakeholders, ranging from facility managers to policy-makers.

Budget classification system for expenditures

A budget classification system determines the manner in which budgets are presented, and often executed, and as such provides a normative framework for policy decision-making and strengthening accountability.

Country mapping of health budget classifications

The country mapping of health budget classifications provides an overview of the types of budget classifications used to present recurrent health expenditure in more than 100 countries for those interested in monitoring budget reforms in the health sector. As described above, a budget classification system provides a normative framework for policy decision-making and strengthening accountability.

Repository of health budgets

The repository of health budgets consolidates open source information on finance laws and related documents applicable to the health sector for more than 100 countries. It is a one-stop shop for researchers and policy-makers interested in analysis and monitoring of health budgets.

Transition to programme budgeting in health: experience from countries and lessons learnt

Country case studies presented here document experience with budget reforms from the perspective of the health sector. Specifically, they focus on transition to programme budgeting, describing the reform process, motivation for reforms, key actors, progress and remaining challenges. These case studies are unique in linking general budgeting and health financing reforms in the country, identifying the effects of these reforms on alignment of health policy priorities and budgets, prioritization of health expenditures, and shift to output-based provider payment methods.


Collaborative agenda on fiscal space, public financial management and health financing


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