Health systems


Health systems

Today more than one billion people cannot obtain the health services they need, because those services are either inaccessible, unavailable, unaffordable or of poor quality. Widening inequities across the world mean that an estimated 100 million people are pushed into poverty every year when they pay out-of-pocket for health services. These problems are of systemic nature and require an all-encompassing approach.

Therefore, WHO assists Member States in creating resilient health systems and moving towards universal health coverage by:

  • supporting countries to develop, implement and monitor solid national health policies, strategies and plans;
  • supporting countries to assure the availability of equitable integrated people-centred health services at an affordable price;
  • facilitating access to affordable, safe and effective medicines and health technologies; and
  • supporting countries to strengthen their health information systems and evidence based policy-making, and to provide information and evidence on health-related matters.

Who does the work?

Jointly with WHO regional and country offices, the Health Systems and Innovation (HIS) Cluster supports Members States and partners to ensure that countries have resilient and comprehensive health systems in place. This includes having national health strategies, motivated healthcare workers, appropriate funding, safe medicines, research, and information systems.

Health systems

A well-functioning health system
working in harmony is built on having
trained and motivated health
workers, a well-maintained infrastructure,
and a reliable supply of medicines
and technologies, backed by adequate
funding, strong health plans and
evidence-based policies.