Purchasing and provider payment systems
Purchasing refers to the arrangements in place, and mechanisms used, to allocate pooled funds to health service providers. Providers use these funds to deliver defined benefits to the population. Purchasing is a core function of any health system.
Moving from passive to strategic purchasing is the focus of health financing reforms in many countries. Reforms aim to address the following questions. Who purchases health services? Which services are purchased? How are services purchased? From which providers are services purchased? Purchasing can have a major impact on health system performance, in particular the efficiency and quality of services, and reducing inequities in service use.