Landscaping health financing works in Pakistan

Type Report
Title Landscaping health financing works in Pakistan
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
About PHEN: Pakistan Health Economics Network [PHEN] was formed in 2009 supported by
WHO-EMRO seed funding with the aim to strengthen health financing and related research in
Pakistan and its uptake into policy and practice. Its main objectives are to i) raise awareness on
relevance of health economics and financing research; ii) strengthen a pool of researchers
through mutual collaboration and support; iii) facilitate networking and capacity building
through liaison with researchers, universities, government and development partners. It is
presently housed within the Health Services Academy Islamabad with plan for eventual
evolution of this network into an independent set up. Its members include economists working in
the health sector as well as public health specialists with strong work experience in health
economics. Activities involve voluntary time contribution from network members and
operational costs are funded by WHO-EMRO.
The Landscaping Study: The World Health Report 2010 titled ‘Health Systems Financing: the
Path to Universal Coverage’ underscores the need for modifying health financing systems so as
to provide universal health care access, meet new health care needs of populations and protect
the vulnerable from catastrophic medical expenditures. In Pakistan there has been a growing
realization of the need for evidence in the health financing area to guide health policies and for
development of effective health systems. Although some work has taken place in recent years by
development partners, government entities, researchers and think tanks, there has been little
synthesis of what has been done and where are the remaining gaps. With this view in mind, a
landscaping exercise of recent health financing and related works undertaken in Pakistan has
been carried out as one of the key initial activities of PHEN. The landscaping captures a wide
range of relevant researches, surveys, financing schemes, and other forms of health financing
work either underway or recently completed in Pakistan within the last five years. This is the
first such exercise in Pakistan and aims to provide an overview of type of work already
undertaken, key emerging findings, and identification of unaddressed research needs. It is by no
means an exhaustive indexing exercise but a broad attempt to capture major pieces of work.
The landscape review can be used for developing evidence based policies for modifying health
financing systems towards universal coverage. This review may be of use to policy makers
wanting to tap into available evidence, for donors interested to fund key knowledge gaps prior to
launching of new initiatives, and for researchers and public health practitioners whose energies
can be targeted towards strategically relevant policy areas. It is hoped that this exercise can lead
towards a closer linkage between policy makers and researchers, and as well linkages amongst
institutions and individuals working in similar interest areas.
Report Layout: For easy reading, the diverse array of studies, articles, and projects have been
categorized into four thematic sections areas: Health Allocation and Expenditure, Health
Financing Mechanisms, Economic Evaluation & Cost of Illness Studies, and Inequities & Safety
Nets. These are followed by a Discussion section synthesizing listed works and identifying
strengths and knowledge gaps. It is purposefully kept concise so as not to detract attention from
the listing and description of numerous initiatives. The report is rounded off with an Alphabetical
Index organized by title of work, a Contact List of Institutions, and full References of all the
works covered in this report.

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