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A critical review of literature on health financing reforms in Uganda: progress, challenges and opportunities for achieving UHC

Source African Health Sciences
Authors W.D. OdochF. SenkubugeA.B. MaseseC. Hongoro
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
Print HSRC Library: shelf number 9812893
handle 20.500.11910/20853
Universal health coverage (UHC) is one of the sustainable development goals (SDG) targets. Progress towards UHC necessitates health financing reforms in many countries. Uganda has had reforms in its health financing, however, there has been no examination of how the reforms align with the principles of financing for UHC. This review examines how health financing reforms in Uganda align with UHC principles and contribute to ongoing discussions on financing UHC. The authors conducted a critical review of literature and utilized thematic framework for analysis. Results are presented narratively. The analysis focused on health financing during four health sector strategic plan (HSSP) periods. In HSSP I, the focus of health financing was on equity, while in HSSP II the focus was on mobilizing more funding. In HSSP III & IV the focus was on financial risk protection and UHC. The changes in focus in health financing objectives have been informed by low per capita expenditures, global level discussions on SDGs and UHC, and the ongoing health financing reform discussions. User fees was abolished in 2001, sector-wide approach was implemented during HSSP Iⅈ, and pilots with results-based financing have occurred. These financing initiatives have not led to significant improvements in financial risk protection as indicated by the high out-of-pocket payments. Health financing policy intentions were aligned with WHO guidance on reforms towards UHC, however actual outputs and outcomes in terms of improvement in health financing functions and financial risk protections remain far from the intentions.