External Resources for Health Systems Strengthening

Does progress towards universal health coverage improve population health?

Many commentators, including WHO, have advocated progress towards universal health coverage on the grounds that it leads to improvements in population health. This report reviews the most robust cross-country empirical evidence on the links between expansions in coverage and population health outcomes, with a focus on the health effects of extended risk pooling and prepayment as key indicators of progress towards universal coverage across health systems.

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Margaret Chan: committed to universal health coverage

Margaret Chan is a woman who needs little introduction. As WHO Director-General, her face is a fixture on news bulletins whenever there is a serious disease outbreak, drug safety issue, or food scare. But it was the less sensational—although some would argue more important—work that Chan and WHO are doing to promote universal health coverage that she was keen to talk about when she spoke to The Lancet.

Download The Lancet


Stronger Health Systems Critical to Sustainability, Country Ownership of PEPFAR

Paper highlights steps to strengthen health systems that support HIV, global health programs

For the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and other global health programs to support the scale-up of new HIV prevention, treatment and care services, four key steps must be taken that strengthen health systems and promote sustainability and country ownership of HIV and non-HIV initiatives, finds a new paper "PEPFAR, Health System Strengthening, and Promoting Sustainability and Country Ownership," in a special supplement to the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

"To meet the ongoing challenges of the HIV epidemic, PEPFAR and other global health initiatives must recognize and respond to evolving health systems strengthening challenges at the national, local and service-delivery levels," said the paper's lead author Dr. John Palen, an expert in health workforce issues and a principal associate at Abt Associates.

The paper was released in conjunction with the International AIDS Conference, July 22-27 in Washington, D.C. Other co-authors on the paper include Dr. Ann Lion, vice president of International Health at Abt Associates.

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The World Health Report - Health Systems Financing: The Path to Universal Coverage

Good health is essential to human welfare and to sustained economic and social development. World Health Organization’s (WHO) Member States have set themselves the target of developing their health financing systems to ensure that all people can use health services, while being protected against financial hardship associated with paying for them.

In this report, WHO maps out what countries can do to modify their financing systems so they can move more quickly towards this goal - universal coverage - and sustain the gains that have been achieved.

The World Health Report - Health Systems Financing: The Path to Universal Coverage’ builds on new research and lessons learned from country experience. It provides an action agenda for countries at all stages of development and proposes ways that the international community can better support efforts in low income countries to achieve universal coverage and improve health outcomes.

Visit the WHO website to download the report


National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme

A crucial focus in South Africa’s health landscape is the implementation of the new National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme, to be effected over the next 10 years, with the aim of transforming the country’s health system financing.  

Beginning in 2012, the NHI is being piloted in 10 selected sites, one of which is uMgungundlovu District in KwaZulu-Natal, where CEGAA is partnering with the Treatment Action Campaign to conduct community monitoring of HIV/AIDS budgets and expenditure tracking for HIV/AIDS and TB. 

CEGAA’s planned activities for the coming year are designed to contribute to several objectives of the pilot NHI district sites, in particular “to examine the extent to which communities are protected from financial risks of accessing needed care by introducing a district mechanism of funding for health services”, as indicated in the Minister of Health NHI Presentation, 22 March 2012.

Download presentation

For more information on the SA-NHI, visit our Policy Documents page or download our SA: NHI media dossier


District Health Barometer 2010/11

The goal of the Health Systems Trust’s District Health Barometer is to improve the quality of and access to primary healthcare services in South Africa, by monitoring and measuring important performance indicators of the health system at district level.

Download this resource from the HST website


Access to Antiretroviral Treatment in South Africa, 2004 - 2011

A paper by Leigh F Johnson, PhD (Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research, University of Cape Town). This paper contains quotable numbers of people on ART or ART coverage in South Africa, and concludes that the country has exceeded the ART targets in its 2007 - 2011 NSP, but men and children appear to be accessing ART at a lower rate than women.

South Africa's Human Resources for Health Strategy 2012 to 2017

In October 2011, South Africa's National Department of Health launched a new five-year plan to address human resource shortages in the public healthcare system, withmeasures to invigorate primary healthcare throughout the country."This HRH Strategy document is a guide to action. Starting with immediate effect, we need to undertake a range of activities, make new policies, develop new programmes, make detailed staffing plans for new service strategies, and manage our health care workforce in ways that motivate them to provide quality health care." - Dr Aaron Motsoaledi: SA Minister of Health

South African Health Review 2011 by Health Systems Trust

The SAHR 2011 provides valuable policy and empirical information on a range of issues that are related to and impact on the Negotiated Service Delivery Agreement and primary health care re-engineering as envisaged by the National Department of Health (NDoH). A range of experts provide commentary on topics ranging from rural health, health technology to human resources. SAHR 2011 also contains a section on core health issues, where developments in health information systems, financing health care, and health legislation and policy are discussed. The Review concludes with data on the functioning and performance of the health system.


CEGAA Resources:

We have produced a range of resources, including research and analysis reports, country assessments, training materials and tools, and Budget Briefs. For a selection of these, go to our Products page.


Other Related Resources:

Through our project research, communications within our network, and media scanning, CEGAA regularly sources useful material and details of related organisations. For access to these, go to the Policy Documents page, the Useful Links page and our  Media Dossiers.