The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the relevance of ensuring universal access to health care services and adequate social protection guarantees. Public stewardship for the health sector and robust and unified health financing and social health protection (SHP) systems are key. These dynamics are at work In Mozambique, spurring budget increases and mobilizing a wide range of actors and expertise around critical health financing (HF) issues and imperatives arising from COVID-19.
Mozambique boosts health budget for COVID-19 response
The government of Mozambique increased its health budget in 2020 to fund the country’s response to COVID-19. Public sector domestic resources for health rose by 20% between 2019 and 2020, from MZN 19.9 million to MZN 23.9 million (approximately 327 million euros). This increase was realized despite falling tax revenues.
The P4H country focal person (P4H-CFP) in Mozambique, Cristina Manzanares, contributed to talks among national directors of budget and economic policy on prioritizing Mozambique’s health sector in the state budget. She brings her technical expertise and the P4H Network’s neutrality to her support in these high level policy dialogues.
P4H-CFP supports strengthening HF policy for UHC
In her role as P4H-CFP, Cristina contributes to increasing policymaking capacity in critical areas of HF and SHP for UHC. In addition to her work with government officials, she works in close collaboration with partners including the World Health Organization and the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents.
Cristina developed and organized a training series in 2020 and 2021 that proved to be a highly relevant forum for government officials during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants benefited from presentations on HF and SHP for UHC. Topics covered public financing, financial protection, equity in financing, and equity in resource distribution. The discussions enabled participants to share experiences with others from around the world and to build on lessons countries had learned.
Featured image on top: National level officials of Mozambique and the P4H-CFP gather at a training session on 18 June 2021, in Maputo, Mozambique.