Health Financing, Social Protection & Health Insurance

In low income countries, health care costs continue to pose a barrier to the access of health care services. Out-of-pocket remains to be the traditional source of private funding as governments struggle to meet public health spending requirements. Families are especially vulnerable to economic ruin when no safety net mechanism exists to protect against increasing medical costs.

EPOS’ involvement in health financing has been to support governments as they embark on financing reforms that improve performance of health care providers, ensure cost-efficiency in the purchase of services and mitigate out-of-pocket spending of health care users. Our work concerns different aspects of financing reform. In Malawi and Kenya, our studies to determine maternal and child health services costs were used to inform policy discussions on the essential health package. The government of Lao PDR is following a roadmap to merge several health financing mechanisms together that was developed in conjunction with our team and included in the national financing strategy. We helped establish insurance systems in Indonesia, Serbia and Cameroon with the aim of providing universal social protection.

The past decade has seen several innovations in financing health care and EPOS is taking part in carrying out these schemes. A number of countries have adopted results-based financing to incentivize performance and improve quality of care. EPOS is involved in the design, testing and evaluation of results-based financing schemes in Niger, Tajikistan and Republic of Congo. Voucher schemes were set up in Cambodia and Kenya, where our team assists in managing an incentive system for users of sexual reproductive health services. Public-Private Partnership arrangements are key topics in our assistance to countries for developing ways to use private sector resources and capacities to achieve national health goals.

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