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WHO launches a series of papers on Financing Common Goods for Health
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Common goods for health



    There is a need for external funders and governments to prioritize investments in core health system functions that are fundamental to protecting and promoting health and well-being. As a call for action, WHO, in close collaboration with external partners, has developed a knowledge programme on financing common goods for health.

    66顺彩票app This knowledge programme articulates, provides the technical and economic rationale for, and identifies sources and modalities of financing for core common goods for health. Due to the broad-based benefits of these common goods, related externalities, and often multi-sectoral nature, there is a need for targeted action and investments by both governments, as well as the global community.

    An initial output of this work is a series of related papers published in a special issue of Health Systems & Reform to coincide with the September 2019 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), which includes a high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Financing common goods for health is a fundamental for health and the foundation of UHC. 


    More information

    Current threats to the natural systems upon which all health and life depend threaten to undermine the health gains of the past decades.  These transitions require health systems to adapt in terms of prioritizing services, how they are delivered, and how health systems overall are financed.  Even the most basic functions of a health system, such as surveillance, have to adapt to recognize that non-communicable diseases and environmental risks are becoming more important for human health.

    Common goods for health require collective financing from governments. This raises the question of how can governments prioritize investments and ensure the provision of common goods for health. Often times, inadequate national financing mechanisms, as well as international funding flows (e.g. budgeting processes, intergovernmental fiscal transfers, and organizational arrangements) work against this objective. WHO’s work on financing common goods for health helps to address how these financing mechanisms interact with and complement other aspects of health system financing, and how to improve alignment across the entire health system and beyond.


    Common Goods for Health (CGH) are population-based functions or interventions that require collective financing, either from the government or donors based on the following conditions:
    • Contribute to health and economic progress;
    • There is a clear economic rationale for interventions based on market failures, with focus on (i) Public Goods (Non-Rival, Non-Exclusionary) or (ii) large social externalities.


    Not all public or common goods are CGH and vice versa, but all CGH must generate large societal health benefits that cannot be financed through market forces.
    • Policy and Coordination (ex. disease control policies and strategies)
    • Taxes and Subsides (ex. taxes on products with impact on health to create market signals leading to behavior change)
    • Regulations and Legislation (ex. environmental regulations and guidelines)
    • Information, analysis & communication* (ex. surveillance systems)
    • Population Services* (ex. medical and solid waste management)

    *Some may have private goods characteristics and related private financing in certain circumstances 

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