Health economics and health care financing

Universal_health_coverage_logoCountries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region spent US$ 92 billion on health in 2008. This accounts for 1.6% of global health spending for 8% of the world's population. About 34% of this amount is spent by the six high-income countries in the Region, representing only 6.6% of the Region's population.

Regionally, 7.8% of general government expenditure is allocated to health. In most low-income countries, almost 60% of health spending is paid out-of-pocket. This figure reaches 80% in some countries. This out-of-pocket payment is the main cause of catastrophic expenditures that push families into poverty.

Universal coverage of health care helps to limit the financial barriers to accessing health services. Moving towards universal coverage is done through increasing the percentage of the population, services and costs covered by prepayment schemes. 


10 May 2012 – The health economics and health care planning programme will be translating an abridged version of the A System of Health Accounts (SHA 2011) manual into Arabic. Since 2006...

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In focus

OneHealth Model

The United Nations (UN) OneHealth Model is a new software costing tool designed to strengthen health system analysis, costing and financing scenarios at country level. It is the first costing tool to...

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An intercountry meeting to introduce the United Nations OneHealth costing tool will take place at the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Cairo, Egypt, from 2 to 6 September 2012. The...

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An intercountry meeting to build regional capacity on the new System of Health Accounts 2011 (SHA 2011) will take place in Doha, Qatar, from 17 to 21 June 2012. SHA 2011 was launched...

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Information resources

National health accounts

Statistics and figures

Total health expenditure in 2008:

Globally: US$ 5800 billion

Eastern Mediterranean Region: US$ 92 billion.

The Region accounts for 1.6% of total global spending for 8% of the world's population.

For more detailed country data, click on the "Health expenditure" tab on the left-hand column of the Regional Health Observatory web page.