Health systems can fully meet the health needs of the population only when there is sufficient, reliable and effectively channeled financing. However, in many low-and lower-middle income countries, health budgets are insufficient, for instance to recruit and retain the necessary number of health workers. Health expenditure relies heavily on out-of-pocket spending, pushing too many people into poverty. Within the Health Systems Advocacy Partnership, Wemos advocates for universal health coverage.

All countries have agreed to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030, as part of the internationally adopted agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Evidence shows that public resources and a country-specific financing strategy are key to achieving universal health coverage. It is a public responsibility to ensure access to essential health services for the whole population when needed, regardless of geographic location or financial situation, prioritizing those who have least access to these services.

Wemos calls for strengthening the pool of public resources for health

Expanding the domestic fiscal space for health is crucial for sustainable results in strengthening low-income countries’ health systems – including the health workforce. Yet, this should not be left to individual countries alone. Wemos believes that the international community can and should contribute to the strengthening of countries’ health budgets. By increased and better aligned development assistance for health on the one hand, and by reducing practices and conditions that needlessly limit fiscal space for health on the other.

Finance for a sustainable health workforce

Our main messages regarding finance for health are:

  • More Development Assistance for Health (DAH) from high-income countries
  • DAH should be better coordinated and/or pooled
  • Removal of needless restrictions and conditionality in fiscal space for health.


Wemos conducted a case study on the application of Dutch Official Development Assistance (ODA) policy instruments for business strengthening in the healthcare context. With our discussion paper "'Best Public value for public money?' The case of match-funded multi-hospital infrastructure development in Tanzania", we share the findings and key points from the in-depth discussions of those [...]

The rights-based approach to health: Wemos in Devex

This week Devex - a media platform for the global development community - explores the question whether governments should see health care as an 'investment'. One of the people who comment on this matter, is our global health advocate Mariska Meurs. She talks about health financing and achieving Universal Health Coverage, from a rights-based approach. [...]

Our analyses of the Global Financing Facility in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda

Wemos’ four new papers are part of a series about the Global Financing Facility (GFF) at national level and show the GFF process in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda. The GFF is a relatively new funding mechanism gaining increasingly more importance in health financing in low- and lower-middle-income countries, specifically aimed at women, children, and [...]


Renée de Jong While Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as initiated by the World Health Organization is a promising concept, I remain critical about the current ambitions in the declaration of the High-Level Meeting on UHC at the United Nations Headquarters in September. The vision is there, but what intrigues me, is what remains unsaid. In [...]

Interactive overview of the highlights of our work

You may have seen them before: the highlights of our work in 2018. But now, we want to share these with you in a clear, fresh new way. In this interactive document, we take you through important results within our programmes, the ways that we share knowledge and how we work together as a team, [...]

This is our strategy for 2019-2023

We are thrilled to present our strategy for the period 2019-2023. Based on current trends and shifts in global health, we have sharpened our strategy and the critical issues we work on. In the coming years we will continue to work closely with partner organisations, and stay committed to striving for structural change to improve [...]