Why and how to approach universal health coverage from a public finance perspective in Africa?

Reflections from the WHO Pre-Conference Workshop at the 2016 African Health Economics and Policy Association Conference.

05 October 2016

WHO’s Department of Health Systems Governance and Financing and WHO regional Office for Africa organised a pre-conference workshop about why and how to approach universal health coverage from a public finance perspective in Africa on 25 September, 2016.

The workshop brought together researchers, policy-makers, representatives of international organisations and from the private sector, all engaged in health financing related activities in the region.

The workshop was divided into three main sessions:

  1. Setting the scene: Health financing, public finance and universal health coverage in Africa

  2. Fiscal space for health in Africa: The holy grail for universal health coverage?

  3. Role of public financial management in sustainable health financing reforms toward universal health coverage in Africa

RESYST researcher, Jane Doherty, gave a presentation documenting South Africa’s experience in increasing the effectiveness of domestic tax collection to expand health sector resources. The RESYST policy brief ‘Raising domestic resources for health: Can tax revenue help fund Universal Health Coverage?’ was also disseminated at the meeting.

To close the session WHO presented a brief overview of guidance materials, reviews and technical briefs that have been recently developed by the Health Governance and Financing Department on the critical links between public finance and health financing issues.

All workshop presentations are available on the WHO website.