Health financing

Fiscal space for health

Calculator and stethoscope on top of printed diagram
Shutterstock/Chompoo Suriyo

All countries, whatever their levels of income, face the question of how to find additional resources for health in a sustainable and realistic manner. Fiscal space commonly refers to the budgetary room in which a government can provide resources for public purposes without undermining fiscal sustainability.

The concept of fiscal space in health helps to place health within the context of the broader economic and fiscal environment, and looks at ways to improve the use of sector resources. The drive to implement universal health coverage has reinvigorated the interest in this topic.

Fiscal space in more detail

Key points about fiscal space for health

Fiscal space for health analysis should examine health as part of the broader macro-fiscal framework. It should focus on domestic sources of financing with measures to enhance efficiency playing a central role.

What is "fiscal space" and why does it matter?

Fiscal space is commonly defined as the budgetary room that allows a government to provide resources for public purposes without undermining fiscal sustainability.

Main drivers of fiscal space for health

Macroeconomic conditions, budget reprioritization towards health and measures to improve efficiency are the three most important drivers for enlarging fiscal space for health.

Assessing fiscal space for health is an important issue for all health policy makers

In recognition, WHO has produced new analysis based on both quantitative and qualitative methods which produce more realistic policy options for countries to increase fiscal space for their health sectors.


Rabat Pre-Conference Workshop

Why and how to approach universal health coverage (UHC) from a public finance perspective in Africa?

Montreux meetings

Collaborative Agenda on Fiscal Space, Public Financial Management and Health Financing