Catalyzing Change: The System Reform Costs of Universal Health Coverage

Catalyzing Change: The System Reform Costs of Universal Health Coverage

Many countries are embracing universal health coverage — defined by the World Health Organization as "access to key promotive, preventive, curative, and rehabilitative health interventions for all at an affordable cost, thereby achieving equity in access" — as a viable financing mechanism for health care, and have found that it can be implemented with relatively small early investments, a new study from the Rockefeller Foundation argues. Based on case studies of recent reforms in Chile, Ghana, Turkey, and the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, the report, Catalyzing Change: The System Reform Costs of Universal Health Coverage (98 pages, PDF), analyzed the costs and feasibility of establishing the necessary institutions, systems, and processes — including designing and planning, revenue collection mechanisms, risk pooling, purchasing, and infrastructure. The findings suggest that the overall costs of transitioning from an out-of-pocket system to universal health coverage may be lower than assumed.