UGANDA— The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), organized a two-day roundtable discussion to focus on priority strategies and reforms aimed at accelerating progress toward sustainable and effective health financing in Uganda.

This event brought together health financing professionals from various government ministries, departments, and agencies, as well as development and implementing partners and academics.

The participants discussed evidence-based data on Uganda’s health financing landscape and identified, reflected on, and agreed on policy and practice recommendations to improve the health system’s performance and meet the population’s healthcare needs.

In her opening remarks, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero, Uganda’s Minister of Health, stated that the country’s health resources are excessively fragmented, resulting in a mismatch with government priorities, redundancy, and waste of resources.

 She went on to explain that in order to reach their aim of universal health coverage, she asked all stakeholders to channel their resources through a single system for greater efficiency and coordination.

The Ministry of Health, with WHO and partner help, has made noteworthy progress in strengthening Uganda’s health financing landscape.

 The government’s budget contribution to the sector has continuously expanded, with the health budget expected to grow by 10% annually in the fiscal year 2022–23.

Furthermore, the government has switched from input-output to program-based budgeting, which encourages efficiency and resource prioritization.

To support strategic activities, results-based funding methods have been implemented and integrated.

While these initiatives are admirable, recent reviews of Uganda’s health-care finance system reveal ongoing hurdles to achieving UHC.

Dr. Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, WHO Representative in Uganda, stated in his speech that in order to achieve their goal of Universal Health Coverage, it was critical to strengthen strategies for improving government resource allocation to the health sector and ensuring that donor efforts in support of essential health programs are sustainable.

At the event, three health finance knowledge packages were launched, providing insights into Uganda’s health financing ecosystem.

They include the National Health Accounts 2016–2019, the Health Financing Progress Matrix 2024, and the Report on the Mid-Term Review of the Health Financing Strategy.

Christabell Abewe, WHO Uganda’s Health Financing Officer, stated that these products and the recommendations from this roundtable will inform future policy conversations and reforms to spur progress toward universal health coverage in Uganda.

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