Effective Health Financing Models in SADC: Three Case Studies

The SADC region faces challenges in the provision of health services relating to limited financial and human resources. As such, access to appropriate and affordable healthcare is often sub-optimal, especially in public and rural areas. This report reviews three cases pre-funding mechanisms to draw lessons on the potential role of different health financing vehicles in facilitating and improving health outcomes in the SADC region. Two studies focus on the SADC region (Community Health Funds in Tanzania and the Medical Aid Society of Malawi) and one from outside the region (Sema Doc model in Kenya).

Sema Doc is an innovative means of using remote consultations via the mobile phone to make healthcare more accessible in rural areas. The MASM case study shows how a ?mainstream? medical aid has structured a benefit option to be affordable to the middle to lower-income end of the employed spectrum. The CHF funds in Tanzania are an example of government leveraging local community structures to achieve sign-up ? and the corresponding challenges.

The case studies highlight the important role that low-cost financing solutions can play within the health system, but also show a number of challenges that should be considered when developing low-cost financing mechanisms.