Universal health coverage -
the ultimate aim
Many people in the Asia Pacific region, especially the poor and vulnerable, face severe barriers to accessing quality health care. Appropriate health financing policies can help reduce these barriers to access, and thereby extend health gains to those most in need.
The WHO provides technical support to countries in developing such health financing policies. The ultimate aim is universal coverage, where all people have access to appropriate promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative services at an affordable cost.
Despite impressive economic development in the region, many people suffer financial catastrophe and impoverishment each year because they have to pay for health care. Many others forgo health services because of the costs of health care. This reflects insufficient health spending by many countries in the region, limited prepayment mechanisms and safety nets, and an overreliance on out-of-pocket expenditures to finance the costs of health care. Ultimately, these concerns, the World Health Organization developed a new health financing strategy for Asia Pacific region.
Health Financing Country Profiles (1995-2008) offer snapshots of the health financing systems of Member States of the Western Pacific Region
Spotlight on Macrohealth
MacroHealth is a simulation tool of the fiscal space available for the health sector, given the state of the economy and public finance. It is applicable to all countries, regardless of how a country's health system is financed and organised. Its principal use is to assess the amount of funds at the macro-level that are likely to be available for health from various sources over a 10 year period. This can help policymakers ascertain the feasibility of increased government health expenditure under different circumstances.