Macroeconomics and health: a perspective from the South-East Asia Region
AbstractThis document presents the rich country experience with macroeconomics and health (MH) activities in countries of WHO's South-East Asia (SEA) Region. It uses these to draws key policy implications for health and development and also identifies next steps in sustaining and furthering the MH agenda in member countries of the region. The 2002 Report of the Commission for Macroeconomics and Health (CMH) recommended a set of strategic country actions to scale up health interventions, particularly for the poor. Using these as a framework to analyze country MH experiences for policy implications, this study finds the following: (1) Substantial progress has been made on advocacy for health in the development agenda. This effort needs to be sustained politically by maintaining a focus on health as an important aspect of development at both national and international levels. Also, the technical link in the health-development nexus needs to be continuously emphasised, particularly health as an area of 'productive' investment. (2) Implementation of CMH and national commission recommendations has been limited, largely due to weak health systems. Focus now needs to be on key deliverables vis-à-vis health systems strengthening and public health needs of the poor. Country experiences highlight the need for attention in the areas of equitable and sustainable health financing; quality health workforce; affordable drugs; and a responsive and accountable system through decentralization and community participation.
World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2007). Macroeconomics and health: a perspective from the South-East Asia Region. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/205431