National health policies, strategies, and plans

Quantifying resources and costing plans

National health priorities need to be translated into detailed resource plans by quantifying needed inputs in terms of people, equipment, infrastructure, etc, and then determining the budgetary implications.

This is an iterative process. Long before the budgeting phase, cost information should be fed into the planning process, so that different scenarios projecting different packages and levels of service delivery can be compared for impact and cost.

This allows policy makers and leaders to make informed decisions between options, because available resources for health are never limitless, even in high income countries. It is also a strategic process, requiring a negotiated consensus among stakeholders on the trade-offs that must be made.

Actual expenditure should match intended policy priorities. To achieve that, health sector stakeholders must provide realistic inputs to the rolling Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, based on the country's national health policy, strategy and plan documents.