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HFG project supporting 3 Caribbean countries to produce first-ever Health AccountsInitiative to assist Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Suriname to understand how the health sector is financed.

July 30, 2018

Image: Health Accounts technical team members trained in Guyana, June 2017.

The USAID-funded Health Finance and Governance (HFG) project has been supporting three countries in the Caribbean region to produce their first ever Health Accounts. This support will enable the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Suriname to understand how the health sector is financed, to plan for future financing needs and to benchmark their health financing performance with peer countries. In addition, health spending for specific diseases such as HIV will be analyzed. This will help the governments to plan for domestic financing for HIV in the context of decreasing donor funding and to ensure more efficient allocation of those funds.

The Health Accounts are being produced using the internationally-recognized framework of the System of Health Accounts 2011 and will provide analysis on the sources of health spending, as well as how health spending is distributed to different health providers, goods and services and diseases or conditions. All three Health Accounts are expected to be completed by the end of September 2018. HFG is also supporting Barbados to update their 2012/13 Health Accounts for an updated analysis of spending for fiscal year 2016/17, using a new approach to analyze health spending in a quick and cost-effective way to respond to health ministries’ needs.

HFG is working with multiple partners to institutionalize Health Accounts in these countries, including UNDP in Trinidad and Tobago and PAHO in Guyana and Suriname, as well as co-producing the Health Accounts in Trinidad and Tobago with The University of West Indies’ Health Economics Unit. HFG’s support will help ensure that the University can be a source of technical support for Health Accounts for the region in the future. Health Accounts results have already been used by countries in the Caribbean to increase government allocation to health (e.g. in Saint Kitts and Nevis) and to introduce taxes on sugary foods and drinks (e.g. in Barbados and Dominica). HFG-supported Health Accounts analysis with partner countries is one component of USAID’s programs designed to strengthen the sustainability of the HIV response in the region, including targeted prevention, care, and support for key populations and the achievement of countries’ commitment to 90-90-90 goals.