Catalyzing optimally resourced PHC systems

Related program: Primary Health Care

Due to historical underinvestment in primary health care, almost half of the world’s population still lacks access to essential health services. Approximately 500 million people have fallen into poverty because of health-related expenses. And people who already disadvantaged or made vulnerable by inequity are the most affected.

Only 2-56% of national health budgets in low- and middle-income countries go to primary health care, and in many countries, that is not enough to meet the population’s needs. The bulk of that healthcare spending and investments go toward curative services and infrastructure that support treatment, but a smarter investment is preventing sickness and keeping people healthy and thriving.

PATH engages governments, the private sector, and donors to make data-driven decisions that mobilize new and innovative financing mechanisms and revolutionize primary health care. We do this because smart investments strengthen health systems and enable robust and resilient multidisciplinary teams to deliver a broad range of services that reflect the needs of the communities they serve. We also partner with countries to develop interoperable data capture and use systems that enable sub-national leadership and decision making on resource utilization, human resources for health, supply chain, health insurance coverage and claims and overall health indices and outcomes. Optimizing community health worker systems including their financing, training and integration into PHC is a major focus for PATH – this included looking at ways to harmonize investments across health areas of funding sources and using digital tools to streamline data capture and use. These approaches ensure financial protection mechanisms are in place, so individuals and communities have access to the health products and services they need, without becoming impoverished in the process of seeking care.

Our focus on inclusive innovation and market dynamics, leverages new partners and thinking to address challenges of last mile supply chains, equipment placement, use and care; and encouraging local innovation and manufacturing.

A healthier and more prosperous world is within reach, but it is essential to transform primary health care funding models, so we can ensure greater quality, coverage and impact.

Additional Resources