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An overview of health financing patterns and the way forward in the WHO African Region.
East Afr Med J. 2006 Sep; 83(9 Suppl):S1-28.EA

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The way a health system is financed affects the performance of its other functions of stewardship, input (or resource) creation and services provision, and ultimately, the achievement of health system goals of health improvement (or maintenance), responsiveness to people's non-medical expectations and fair financial contributions.

OBJECTIVES

To analyse the changes between 1998 and 2002,in health financing from various sources; and to propose ways of improving the performance of health financing function in the WHO African Region.

DESIGN

A retrospective analysis of data obtained from the World Health Report, 2005.

METHODS

The analysis reported in this paper is based on the National Health Accounts (NHA) data for the 46 WHO Member States in the African Region. The data were obtained from the World Health Report 2005. It consisted of information on: levels of per capita expenditure on health; total expenditure on health as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP); general government expenditure on health as a percentage of total expenditure on health; private expenditure on health as a percentage of total expenditure on health; general government expenditure on health as a percentage of total government expenditure; external expenditure as a percentage of total expenditure on health; social security expenditure on health as a percentage of general government expenditure on health; out-of-pocket expenditure as a percentage of private expenditure on health; and private prepaid plans as a percentage of private expenditure on health. The analysis was done using Lotus SmartSuite software.

RESULTS

The analysis revealed that: fifteen countries spent less than 4.5% of their GDP on health; forty four countries spent less than 15% of their national annual budget on health; sixty three percent of the governments in the Region spent less than US$10 per person per year; fifty per cent of the total expenditure on health in 24 countries came from government sources; prepaid health financing mechanisms cover only a small proportion of populations in the Region; private spending constituted over 40% of the total expenditure on health in 31; direct out-of-pocket expenditures constituted over 50% of the private health expenditure in 38 countries.

CONCLUSION

Every country needs to develop clear pro-poor health financing policy and a comprehensive health financing strategic plan with a clear roadmap of how it plans to transit from the current health financing state dominated by inequitable, catastrophic and impoverishing direct out-of-pocket payments to a visionary scenario of universal coverage. The strategic plan should strengthening of health sector advocacy and health financing capacities, health economics evidence generation and utilisation in decision-making, making better use of available and expected resources, monitoring of equity in financing, strengthening of the exemption mechanisms, managed removal of direct out-of-pocket payments (for countries that choose to), and improving country-led sectoral coordination mechanisms (e.g. Sector Wide Approaches).

Authors+Show Affiliations

Health Financing and Social Protection Unit, Division of Health Systems and Services Development, World Health Organisation, Regional Office for Africa, D'Joue Road, B.P. 06, Brazzaville, Congo.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

17476860

Citation

Kirigia, J M., et al. "An Overview of Health Financing Patterns and the Way Forward in the WHO African Region." East African Medical Journal, vol. 83, no. 9 Suppl, 2006, pp. S1-28.
Kirigia JM, Preker A, Carrin G, et al. An overview of health financing patterns and the way forward in the WHO African Region. East Afr Med J. 2006;83(9 Suppl):S1-28.
Kirigia, J. M., Preker, A., Carrin, G., Mwikisa, C., & Diarra-Nama, A. J. (2006). An overview of health financing patterns and the way forward in the WHO African Region. East African Medical Journal, 83(9 Suppl), S1-28.
Kirigia JM, et al. An Overview of Health Financing Patterns and the Way Forward in the WHO African Region. East Afr Med J. 2006;83(9 Suppl):S1-28. PubMed PMID: 17476860.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - An overview of health financing patterns and the way forward in the WHO African Region. AU - Kirigia,J M, AU - Preker,A, AU - Carrin,G, AU - Mwikisa,C, AU - Diarra-Nama,A J, PY - 2007/5/5/pubmed PY - 2007/5/19/medline PY - 2007/5/5/entrez SP - S1 EP - 28 JF - East African medical journal JO - East Afr Med J VL - 83 IS - 9 Suppl N2 - BACKGROUND: The way a health system is financed affects the performance of its other functions of stewardship, input (or resource) creation and services provision, and ultimately, the achievement of health system goals of health improvement (or maintenance), responsiveness to people's non-medical expectations and fair financial contributions. OBJECTIVES: To analyse the changes between 1998 and 2002,in health financing from various sources; and to propose ways of improving the performance of health financing function in the WHO African Region. DESIGN: A retrospective analysis of data obtained from the World Health Report, 2005. METHODS: The analysis reported in this paper is based on the National Health Accounts (NHA) data for the 46 WHO Member States in the African Region. The data were obtained from the World Health Report 2005. It consisted of information on: levels of per capita expenditure on health; total expenditure on health as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP); general government expenditure on health as a percentage of total expenditure on health; private expenditure on health as a percentage of total expenditure on health; general government expenditure on health as a percentage of total government expenditure; external expenditure as a percentage of total expenditure on health; social security expenditure on health as a percentage of general government expenditure on health; out-of-pocket expenditure as a percentage of private expenditure on health; and private prepaid plans as a percentage of private expenditure on health. The analysis was done using Lotus SmartSuite software. RESULTS: The analysis revealed that: fifteen countries spent less than 4.5% of their GDP on health; forty four countries spent less than 15% of their national annual budget on health; sixty three percent of the governments in the Region spent less than US$10 per person per year; fifty per cent of the total expenditure on health in 24 countries came from government sources; prepaid health financing mechanisms cover only a small proportion of populations in the Region; private spending constituted over 40% of the total expenditure on health in 31; direct out-of-pocket expenditures constituted over 50% of the private health expenditure in 38 countries. CONCLUSION: Every country needs to develop clear pro-poor health financing policy and a comprehensive health financing strategic plan with a clear roadmap of how it plans to transit from the current health financing state dominated by inequitable, catastrophic and impoverishing direct out-of-pocket payments to a visionary scenario of universal coverage. The strategic plan should strengthening of health sector advocacy and health financing capacities, health economics evidence generation and utilisation in decision-making, making better use of available and expected resources, monitoring of equity in financing, strengthening of the exemption mechanisms, managed removal of direct out-of-pocket payments (for countries that choose to), and improving country-led sectoral coordination mechanisms (e.g. Sector Wide Approaches). SN - 0012-835X UR - https://wwww.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/17476860/An_overview_of_health_financing_patterns_and_the_way_forward_in_the_WHO_African_Region_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -