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With shifting disease burdens, growing populations, and rising expectations comes a greater focus on value for money. International health funders and agencies want to know how to make the most of money spent by focusing on the highest impact interventions among the most affected populations. Whether through better procurement systems for health commodities, results-based financing, or more detailed assessments of the effective ness of health technology, CGD’s work aims to make health funding go further to save, prolong and improve more lives.
Cost-effectiveness studies compare the costs and benefits of different interventions with the aim of improving decisions on the allocation of scarce resources for health. Or, put simply, they allow policy-makers to set priorities for health spending and consider how the next dollar available can get more health for the money.
Successful investments in global health—or “best buys”— can be defined in many ways: a cost-effective commodity or technology, a well-trained health workforce, an evidence-informed policy, etc. We recently hosted an event in partnership with PSI, PATH, Devex, and Merck to discuss this topic, and noted a reoccurring theme: service delivery is key.
I’ve spent a lot of time in international meetings talking about the importance of universal health coverage (UHC), and the technical and practical considerations needed to bring UHC closer to reality. But missing from these discussions is acknowledgement – if not guidance – around UHC’s complex political economy; that when we spend more on health, more is at stake for all the actors in the system.
The Global Fund’s New Funding Model (NFM) was approved by its Board more than a year ago, representing what the Fund’s Director Mark Dybul called “a new beginning” to “achieve greater impact in the lives of people affected by HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria.
Universal health coverage (UHC) is now firmly on the global health agenda, and carries with it the ambitious goal of providing “access to key promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative health interventions for all at an affordable cost.” So where do we start? A critical first step to delivering on the aspirations of UHC is deciding which services and policies to prioritize and make available. While resources for health care are growing, they are not infinite and hard choices must be made.