Free health care policies
Free health care (FHC) policies – or politiques de gratuité – are about removing formal user fees either fully or partially. The removal may apply either to all health services, to the primary care level, to selected population groups, to selected services for everyone, or to selected services for specific population groups.
However, to date, evidence about the impact of FHC policies in terms of financial protection and health service utilization is mixed. If well designed and implemented, FHC can be a way to expand coverage in countries with few resources and can therefore be part of a strategy and a catalyst to move towards Universal Health Coverage.