Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Sign In
Oct 12
Back to the future: Making the global health agenda local with a return to Alma Ata

by Jackie Smith – SA SURE Plus Programme Manager

jackie closeup small.jpg

This session was run by Save the Children and focused on the importance of governments allocating sufficient funds to primary health care (PHC) so as to provide a stable platform of quality for universal health coverage (UHC).

The examples shared came from countries outside of South Africa, but some of the recommendations apply very aptly to the South African context. Notably, a case study from Zimbabwe reported that, against the backdrop of an 85% unemployment rate, the issue of collecting taxes to pay for UHC is almost a non-starter, as most of the recipients are living below the poverty line.

Nonetheless, it is encouraging to hear that with Zimbabwe's change in leadership, civil society has been afforded a more participatory role in discussions on health budgets, leading to some promising results.

Key conclusions:

  • No country will achieve UHC without first providing PHC for all.
  • Governments should mobilise domestic resources to increase investment in PHC.
  • How money is spent is as important as how much is spent.
  • External donor support should be invested in strengthening PHC.
  • It is impossible to measure what we don't know. Analysis of expenditure against programme performance is crucial.
  • PHC is about serving communities and therefore, civil society and community governance structures should play a key role in health budget discussions.



There are no comments for this post.