Health financing for universal coverage


Syringe with coins in it.
WHO/B Mathivet

Progress towards universal health coverage (UHC) requires not just more money for health but more value for money. All health systems suffer from inefficiency in terms of the types of services and technologies funded, and the way in which their delivery is organised.

Health financing policy can help to improve efficiency, for example the ways in which revenues are pooled and used to purchase services included in the benefit package. Moving towards strategic purchasing is one way to make significant efficiency gains and savings across health systems.

Efficiency in more detail

Efficiency and universal health coverage

Even at low levels of health spending, health systems can improve the way funds are pooled and spent in order to get the most out of the limited resources and ensure value for money.

Addressing health system inefficiencies

All countries can do something, many of them a great deal, to improve the efficiency of their health systems, thereby releasing resources that could be used to increase the level of coverage.

Priority health programmes

Priority health programmes are often highly efficient in delivering a limited set of services, however, for UHC the perspective needs to be of the entire health system service and all beneficiaries.


Satellite session at the Fourth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research -- Vancouver 2016

Expert panel discussions, country experiences, and direct participant involvement formed the basis of a forum to unpack and debate the challenges of aligning health programmes with the wider health system.