Stronger Health Systems: Expanding Access to Care, Improving Health
USAID’s Office of Health Systems (OHS) launched the Health Finance and Governance Project to support partner countries as they strive to improve their health systems and ensure health gains are preserved. The Office’s Vision for Health Systems Strengthening (HSS) 2015-19 explains: “USAID invests in health systems strengthening to broaden the reach and enhance the sustainability of the life-saving impact of our global health support, including our investments in ending preventable child and maternal deaths, achieving an AIDS-free generation, and protecting communities from infectious diseases.”
Today, many countries are embarking upon health system changes to move towards Universal Health Coverage and expand their citizens’ access to quality health services. But to achieve this goal, domestic financing for health will need to grow and stronger health governance will be necessary to ensure that resources devoted to the health sector achieve their intended results.
USAID’s HFG Project strives to fundamentally strengthen health systems in ways that benefit all health services, including those for maternal and child health, malaria, and HIV and AIDS. The HFG project applies cross-cutting strategies —capacity building, gender, and incentives—to build resiliency and reach key populations, like women and children.
There is no one-size-fits-all model for health systems strengthening. HFG is working with more than 40 countries, collaborating with partners and health sector stakeholders to strengthen their health systems and boost health outcomes by:
- Improving financing by mobilizing domestic resources, reducing financial barriers, expanding health insurance, and implementing provider payment systems;
- Enhancing governance for better health system management and greater accountability and transparency;
- Improving management and operations systems to advance the delivery and effectiveness of health care, for example, through mobile money and public financial management; and
- Advancing techniques to measure progress in health systems performance, especially around universal health coverage.