World Health Organization - Uganda

The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), convened a 2-day roundtable discussion to reflect on priority strategies and reforms to accelerate progress towards achieving sustainable and effective financing of health in Uganda.

The event brought together health financing experts from various government ministries, departments and agencies, development and implementing partners, and academia to share evidence-based information on the health financing landscape in Uganda. Participants will identify, reflect on, and agree on policy and practice recommendations to improve the health system's performance and meet the population's health needs.

Countries committed to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as part of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The goal is to ensure that all people have access to the full range of quality health services they need without facing financial hardship whilst receiving needed health services. However, six years to the end of the SDG era, several countries, including Uganda, are facing challenges that are compromising their movement toward UHC.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero, Uganda's Minister of Health, pointed out that the country's health resources are highly fragmented, resulting in a mismatch with government priorities leading to duplication and wastage of resources. “To achieve our goal of universal health coverage, I urge all partners to channel their resources through a single system to facilitate efficiency and coordination,” she said.

The Ministry of Health, with support from WHO and partners, has made commendable progress in improving the health financing landscape in Uganda. The government's budget allocation to the sector has steadily increased, with an annual health budget growth rate of 10% in the 2022/23 financial year. Furthermore, the government has moved from input-output budgeting to program-based budgeting, which promotes efficiency and resource prioritization. To support strategic operations, results-based funding mechanisms have been introduced and integrated.

While these efforts are commendable, recent assessments of Uganda's health financing system highlight persistent challenges to achieving UHC. “To meet our goal of Universal Health Coverage, it is essential to strengthen strategies to improve government resource allocation to the health sector and to ensure that donor efforts in support of essential health programs are sustainable,” said Dr. Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, WHO Representative to Uganda.

At the event, three health financing knowledge products that provide insights into the health financing landscape in Uganda were launched. They include the National Health Accounts 2016-2019, the Health Financing Progress Matrix 2024, and the Report of the Mid-term Review of the Health Financing Strategy.

“These products and the recommendations from this roundtable will inform subsequent policy dialogues and reforms to catalyze progress towards universal health coverage in Uganda,” concluded Christabell Abewe, the Health Financing Officer at WHO Uganda.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization - Uganda.