International health specialists at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh have produced the world’s first health financing guide to help countries provide quality health care without their population facing catastrophic consequences.
The new document, which has been developed in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), helps guide countries create a national health financing strategy which will extend coverage of essential health care packages at affordable prices to their entire population, but with an emphasis on early scale up to the most vulnerable groups.
Sophie Witter, Professor of International Health Financing and Health Systems, Queen Margaret University, said: “Up until now, there has been no guide to support countries in developing health financing strategies – these lay out how a country can fund its healthcare, how to allocate funding and what services can be purchased with that funding. These are all critical elements in ensuring the health and financial protection of the population.”
The Professor continued: “The guide advocates a problem-based approach, starting from the challenges and opportunities in each context. There is no one single model which works, but national decision-makers can be helped to identify the critical health financing functions and how best to address them in a specific setting. This guide helps policy-makers frame the key issues ensuring that health financing strategies make a real difference to policy and practice.
“I am very proud to have been involved in this project with colleagues from the World Health Organisation.”
Developing a National Health Financing Strategy: A Reference Guide can be found at http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/254757/1/9789241512107-eng.pdf?ua=1
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