The promotion and protection of health is essential to human
welfare and to sustained economic and social development. People
rate health as being one of their most important priorities but
timely access to appropriate health services requires a
well-functioning health financing system. WHO's Member States have
set themselves the target of developing their health financing
systems to ensure that all people can use health services, while
being protected against financial hardship associated with paying
for them. In this report, the World Health Organization maps out
what countries can do to modify their financing systems so they can
move more quickly to universal coverage, and sustain the gains that
have been achieved. The report builds on new research and lessons
learnt from country experience. It provides an action agenda for
countries at all stages of development and proposes ways that the
international community can better support efforts in low-income
countries to achieve universal coverage and improve health
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