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The World Bank recently published Health Financing Revisited: A Practitioners Guide (PDF), by Pablo Gottret and George Schieber. In his foreword, Jacques Baudouy offers the following summary:

This report provides an overview of health financing tools, policies, and trends, with a focus on challenges facing developing countries. While all health financing systems should seek to improve health status, provide financial protection against catastrophic illness costs, and satisfy their participants, the evidence reviewed here reveals that there is no single “road” for achieving these goals. Countries operate within highly variable economic, cultural, political, demographic, and epidemiological contexts. The development of their health delivery and financing systems - and the optimal solutions to the challenges they face - will continue to be influenced by these and other historical country-specific factors. Nonetheless, countries can learn from each other’s health financing efforts. This report highlights some key lessons in this area and provides policy recommendations based on underlying economic principles, political environments, socioeconomic conditions, and institutional realities, not buzzwords, slogans, and magic bullets. It also highlights the remaining and anticipated challenges for developing countries and their global partners.

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