Resource allocation and health financing


EQUINET through the Health Economics Unit University of Cape Town, Cape Town South Africa is supporting research in East and Southern Africa on resource mobilisation, mechanisms for strengthening cross-subsidies in the overall health system and lessons from application of equity oriented resource allocation policies. The focal point for queries on this programme is Di McIntyre at the Health Economics Unit University of Cape Town, Cape Town South Africa. Reports of the work to date can be found on this site


Equinet has focused in recent years on the public- private mix in health financing and on promoting the equitable allocation of limited government (and donor) funds within countries in the SADC region. Research has been undertaken in a number of SADC countries (particularly Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe) to evaluate the equity of existing allocation mechanisms of public sector health care resources and to develop appropriate mechanisms to promote equity in resource allocation (including but not restricted to needs-based formulae). A regional workshop in April 2005 compared the methodologies and approaches that were used to evaluate existing resource allocation patterns and proposals for promoting greater equity and provided an opportunity to undertake collaborative cross-country comparisons. Steps have been initiated to ensure that this research is translated not only into policy, but also into tangible changes ‘on-the-ground’, and these will be continued. In 2005 a policy overview of equitable resource mobilisation strategies in Africa is being implemented to lay the groundwork for the next phase of work.

The major emphasis over the next five years will be on exploring and promoting equitable resource mobilisation strategies, while sustaining the work on equitable resource allocation. This includes work that will

  •  Monitor our performance in meeting the Abuja commitment of 15% government spending to health, accompanied by advocacy for debt cancellation
  • Propose and support implementation of mechanisms for cross subsidies in health financing and for equitable resource allocation within the public health sector
  • Lobby for debt cancellation, for progressive, tax-based financing for health systems, for the removal of user fees at primary care level and for financing of community activities in health
  • Promote caution in the implementation of pre-payment mechanisms
  • Propose and support equity oriented legislation and its implementation in the private for profit health sector
  • Do more and better research on financing issues to build a stronger evidence base and propose alternatives for fair financing of health
  • Reallocate available resources to strengthen preventive and promotive care and those services which focus on addressing the determinants of health.
  • Work with not for profit providers where these serve public health goals.

On other areas of the site you can also view information on training,meetings and grants related to this area of EQUINET's work. You can also search publications produced by EQUINET and our annotated bibliography for documents related to this theme.