Shared Responsibilities for Health

Professor John-Arne Røttingen has chaired a Chatham House working group on global health financing. They recommand that all countries should invest at least 5% of GDP on health and that high income countries should also provide support to countries with inadequate capacity.

Universal health coverage. Illustration: colourbox

The financing work group has examined what needs to be done to provide a global framework for sustainable health financing in order to achieve universal health coverage. In sum the report comes up with twenty recommendations for policy responses on national and international level.

A Global Framework for Health Financing

The working group has considered how the thinking on domestic and external health financing and the financing of global public goods for health could be updated to account for the fundamental changes in the world the last decade. The rise of the emerging economies and has led to most people with poor access to health services now live in middle- rather than low-income countries. The recommendations also relate to the debate on the shaping of the post-2015 development agenda, including its targets for health and health financing.

Calls for bold action

The report’s introduction concludes with a call for bold action to secure universal health coverage: «We hope this report will invigorate the global debate on health financing and spur fresh, innovative thinking about the needed reforms. However, debate is not enough. We also hope the report will incite bold action directly. Agreement on a coherent global framework for health financing is urgently needed and is a unique opportunity to secure universal health coverage and health for all.»

Our report demonstrates that a financing floor of $86 per capita is necessary to provide priority health services. We say that all countries should invest at least 5% of GDP on health and that high income countries and gradually upper middle income countries should provide 0.15% of GDP for external support to countries with inadequate capacity. These are concrete recommendations which should be followed up by countries, says Røttingen.

The report Shared Responsibilities for Health was launched on May 21st in cooperation with the Global Health Programme at the Graduate Institute in Geneva.

By Dagrun Kyte Gjøstein
Published May 22, 2014 9:15 AM - Last modified Mar. 7, 2017 10:44 AM