Course 29

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Health Financing and Universal Eye Health

Convenors: Kirsten Armstrong and Thomas Engels


Health financing is a key “function of a health system concerned with the mobilization, accumulation and allocation of money to ensure that all individuals have access to effective public health and personal health care” (WHO, 2000). Health financing reforms are fundamental to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and the objectives of the WHO Global Action Plan 2014-2019.

The session will focus on the concept of health financing in the context of Universal Health Coverage for Eye Health; with a particular focus on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). It will encourage attendees to think more broadly about health financing for UHC than merely health insurance and public provision of healthcare services. Case studies provided will highlight a range of health financing strategies that can be implemented to progress towards UHC for Eye Health and the strengths and weaknesses of different strategies will be discussed at the end of the session.

This course will help the audience to:

  • Understand the basic concepts of health financing and why health financing reforms are at the core of strategies to reach UHC
  • Understand that there is no single ‘best’ model to progress towards UHC and strategies to progress towards UHC need to be tailored to each country context
  • Understand the importance of integrating eye health within the broader country health financing policy and consider key principles to guide the process and avoid well-known pitfalls in health financing policy
  • Consider a range of eye health financing initiatives that can be used in low- and middle-income countries to progress towards UHC; and how the private sector can contribute to achieve UHC
  • SpeakerPresentations
    Thomas EngelsHealth financing and UHC: setting the context
    Kirsten ArmstrongKey features of eye health financing systems
    David GreenTweaking the eye health financing system: an approach to improve quality and access to eye care in Vietnam and the Philippines
    David GreenSocial enterprise model: showing how the private sector can contribute to achieve social goals and UHC in low- and middle-income countries
    Barbara KongSocial impact bond: presenting the Cameroon Cataract Bond Initiative and how innovative financing mechanism can contribute to increase funding for eye health and improve delivery of eye care
    Anis KaziHealthcare Equity Fund: showing how health equity funds can increase uptake of healthcare services by vulnerable populations - a case study of Pakistan

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