Overcoming Public Sector Inefficiencies toward Universal Health Coverage: The Case for National Health Insurance Systems in Asia and the Pacific

Publication | May 2018

This publication discusses how countries in Asia and the Pacific can overcome public sector inefficiencies in the health system and how governments can obtain better outcomes on their journey towards universal health coverage.

As governments in Asia and the Pacific invest more on health, unmasking inefficiencies in spending is a priority to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC). This paper looks at inefficiencies in the public sector, and how they affect the way health systems’ functions are performed. Countries in the region are making efficiency gains in the health sector. National Health Insurances, whereby a single payer is providing financial protection for an entire national population, are increasingly being used as an instrument to move toward UHC in Asia and the Pacific. Such systems offer a potential for efficiency gains and better performing health systems functions, from stewardship to pooling and delivering services.


  • Introduction
  • Health Systems Functions, Universal Health Coverage, and the Role of the Public Sector
  • Unmasking the Sources of Public Sector Inefficiencies in the Health System
  • How Countries in Asia and the Pacific Overcome Public Sector Inefficiencies
  • The National Health Insurance Model as an Instrument to Improve Health Systems Performance
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix: Analysis of How Public Sector Inefficiencies Affect Selected Health System Functions

Additional Details

  • Health
  • Health system development
  • Health insurance and subsidized health programs
  • Health finance
  • 32
  • 8.5 x 11
  • WPS189361-2

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