The course provides a short introduction to key concepts of health economics, such as public goods, externalities and supply and demand, as applied to health and the health sector. Based on the WHO health system performance framework, the course then discusses health financing – its functions, financing systems, payment mechanisms, Overseas Development Assistance, the effect of health system organisation on financing, measuring performance, digitization in health financing and how financing relates to other building blocks of a health system. These factors are used to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a country’s level and structure of health financing.
Most health systems are characterized by a mix of public and private financing and delivery of care. For a health system to perform well – i.e., to provide needed, good-quality health services to all who need them – public and private financing agents need to generate an appropriate amount of revenue; pool risks; create appropriate incentives for quality service provision from all providers; and allocate resources to the most effective, efficient, and equitable interventions and services irrespective of the sector. These functions should be managed efficiently, minimising administrative costs.
The course will expose and discuss these aspects so that participants can critically discuss and share views on health financing and payment reforms at local, national and global level. Health financing will be further discussed in the context of achieving “Universal Health Coverage” and Sustainable Development Goal 3.