COVID-19 & Health Financing

Session virtual link: Digital Session, Meeting ID: 944 1621 8767

Session objectives 

1) To discuss the potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare financing.

Session abstract 

The COVID-19 pandemic strained countries’ public health infrastructure, exposing their strengths and weaknesses, including the ways in which these systems are financed. The resilience of several healthcare systems was put to the test by in-country waves of COVID-19 associated with peak numbers of people utilising the healthcare system. Given that national responses to COVID-19 have financial implications, they were in part influenced by the financing policies for the health sector. In high-income countries like the United states, uninsured individuals and their families faced uncertainties in accessing healthcare services for COVID-19 and this led to subsequent policy changes that expanded coverage for COVID-19 testing. In Africa, health budgets increased and up to 100 billion was requested in financial aid at the start of the pandemic.

The relationship between health inequalities and healthcare financing models that are reliant on private expenditure is established and a similar picture was displayed for COVID-19. A cross country analysis showed that COVID-19 prevalence and mortality rates increased as a country’s private health expenditure increased. Health systems with more public health expenditure, that focuses on universal health coverage, seemed to have better COVID-19 responses.

Global economic contraction brought on by the pandemic may continue to have reverberations on healthcare financing long after the pandemic. Since it is anticipated that the global economic recovery will be slow, several governments will experience fiscal shortages, impacting service delivery. Unless corrective action is taken, public spending on health is projected to go into recession. The economic downturn in highincome countries may lead to re-prioritization of financial resources with reduced development assistance for health spending. Furthermore, as livelihoods are lost and household income reduces, out-of-pocket spending on health is expected to decline.

Get the virtual session link here.

Event Timeslots (1)

PD 11

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