Health System Financing Social Health Insurance vs Tax-Financed Health Systems

Not Only Is A Healthy Society Possible; It Is Inevitable

All people are entitled to quality essential health services, without suffering financial hardship to pay for health expenses. This simple but powerful belief undergirds the growing movement towards universal health coverage (UHC), now a global commitment under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UNGA consists of targets that primarily focus health. Target 3.8 of SDG 3 – achieving universal health coverage (UHC), including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all – is the key to attaining the entire goal as well as the health-related targets of other SDGs.

Strong, financially sustainable health systems create healthy citizens, who can then get the education and skills they need to thrive in a dynamic global economy. Traditionally, health care systems have been compared in terms of tax-financed Beveridge-type and contribution-financed Bismarck-type alternatives. The world is in the midst of a debate about the relative merits of social health insurance and tax-financed health systems. The debate on ‘which system is best’, depending on health outcome indicators (overall mortality rate, infant mortality rate & life expectancy), healthcare expenditure indicators (Health expenditure per capita, Health care expenditure as percentage of GDP) and satisfaction with the healthcare system is challenging and widely points towards a hybrid system tailor made for a population.

Health in SDG ERA

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