On 22 September 2019 in New York, the eve of the UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), international partners launched the 2019 UHC Global Monitoring Report with alarming news: at current rates of progress, up to 5 billion people will miss out on health care in 2030.1 “Countries must invest at least 1% more of GDP on primary health care to eliminate glaring coverage gaps” says the UHC Global Monitoring Report 2019. Too often, countries’ health strategies include interventions and services that are ambitious but unfunded and interventions targeting the financing of primary health care (PHC) systems could accelerate progress towards universal health coverage; however, there is limited evidence, knowledge to guide best-practice implementation of these interventions.
Universal Health Coverage (UHC) proposes that everyone access the quality healthcare services they need without exposure to any financial risk. The vast amount of evidence indicates that primary healthcare service is essential and a foundation for a strong health system, offering preventive and basic healthcare intervention. However, this level of service delivery is seemingly least prioritized in terms of funding and purchasing modalities. Some of the reasons for the contrast include the limited financial management capacity, limited or no autonomy and non-strategic payment mechanism.
In the light of the preceding, SPARC, in partnership with AfroPHC, is organizing a webinar themed “Exploring UHC Funding/Payment Reforms for PHC in Africa.” AfroPHC is a community of Primary Health Care (PHC) health workers interested in elevating learnings, issues and opportunities for PHC Systems Strengthening and SPARC is an Africa based resource hub aimed at Strengthening Strategic Purchasing capacity in sub-Saharan Africa by connecting existing regional expertise and matching it with country demand to make better use of resources for health. Its vision is to empower countries with knowledge and practical tools to make access to affordable and quality health care a reality for all.
The webinar on 27 July aimed to share experiences and discuss issues affecting the funding of PHC toward the advancement of UHC in Africa. The webinar featured a panel discussion with experts from SPARC’s technical consortium moderated by members of AfroPHC.
The objectives of the webinar are to:
- Discuss issues affecting PHC Financing for UHC,
- Increase awareness of PHC workers on PHC financing using country experiences, and
- Brainstorm and identify solutions to challenges facing PHC financing in Africa.
- Health Workers
- PHC policymakers
- Officials from African Ministries of Health and Finance
- Country policymakers
- SPARC Technical partners & FORCE community
- Health Financing experts
Dr. Almoghirah Abdellah moderated the discussion. Dr. Nkechi Olalere briefed us on SPARC. Prof. Shabir Moosa frame the discussion. A panel from different countries (Tanzania – Susan Makawia, Rwanda – Stella Matutina Umuhoza, Ghana – Dr. Ama Fenny) responded to the question “Can you share your country experiences in UHC funding/payment reforms for PHC?” We also discussed the questions “What are the challenges we see with the emerging UHC PHC funding/payment changes? What are the solutions to these challenges?” and synthesised key messages.