Innogen · News · February 23, 2016

Julius Mugwagwa shares some research findings from the ‘innovative spending in health’ project

Health care systems in developing countries, certainly, but also even in developed countries, are ailing and in need of strengthening. While medical treatment has made astonishing advances over the years, the packaging and delivery mechanisms for such treatments are often inefficient, ineffective, consumer unfriendly, and resultantly failing to cope with the ever-increasing range of diseases and health challenges.

To address the myriad of challenges, there is increasing focus from global to local levels on coming up with innovative and imaginative ways of raising money for health. The issue of being creative and innovative in raising resources is a dominant one, not only in health, but all facets of human endeavour.

This contribution analyses the evidence for existence of innovative spending options in the health systems of South Africa and Zimbabwe, tracing the decisions behind them from the various nodal points of their production in the countries and external sources. From the WHO offices in Geneva, through the board rooms of health and finance ministries and other government departments as well as a plethora of other private, public and civil society players, to health service centres and households across the two countries, what unravels is a complex coalition of interests which shapes how decisions are made on how and where resources should be spent in the health system. This contribution is based on the author’s recently concluded ESRC-funded study which introduced and interrogated the concept of innovative spending in health, looking at how available resources are being or can be spent more imaginatively in order to achieve effective, timely, affordable and equitable health delivery. The main question being asked was; what should money be spent on to make health innovations more effective in developing countries?

See also Julius’s BMJ Open article on ‘Innovative spending in health: what should money be spent on to make global health innovations more effective in developing countries?’