Public Health

Dialogue on National Fiscal Policy and Health

October 4, 2023  • Health, Medicine & Society Program

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The Health, Medicine & Society Program has released a new report reinforcing the multidimensional ties between the economic health of a nation and the health of its citizenry. The report, entitled Dialogue on National Fiscal Policy and Health, offers ten key principles that build on the recognition that economic productivity is deeply influenced by health status, primary care capacities, the presence or absence of systemic inequities, and the availability of affordable healthcare.  The dialogue, which was originally held on the margins of the 2022 World Bank/IMF fall meetings, provides important insights for policymakers.

The report is based on conversations among a group of former finance ministers and former health ministers from around the globe. John Lipsky, former first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, and Donna E Shalala, 18th secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, co-chaired the dialogue, which was supported by Pfizer.  The countries represented include Colombia, Ecuador, Italy, Japan, Philippines, Rwanda, Vietnam and the United States. Dialogue participants considered how nations could best construct their budgets to reflect the value of public sector spending on health for citizens and health systems, build political consensus for appropriate investments, and advance equity.