The question of funding
Funding and financial aid comes in a variety of formats from a wide range of organisations and much of which is external to the countries receiving it. The funding for the many projects and initiatives that deliver the improvements in healthcare, in developing countries and across the world, is provided broadly from three main sources; Government aid, charities and contributions from the private sector.
Optimising funding effectiveness
The amount of funding available is always limited and so the objective is to maximise the funding that can be secured and to maximise the beneficial value of every unit of funding. A collaborative approach is now recognised as the most efficient and effective way to achieve these objectives.
The coordination of resource, logistics, knowledge and expertise along with the elimination of duplication and unnecessary overhead structure is the preferred model for an increasing number of organisations.
Private sector contribution
The private sector has much to contribute in terms of organisational expertise, strategic planning as well as hard cash. A recent example includes a $3.1million program from Exxon Mobil to fund a two year commitment in Papua New Guinea, focussed on improving maternal health and reducing the high rates of child mortality experienced. The long term goal of this initiative is to improve the general health of generations to come.
Allocating resource and finance
Recent reports have highlighted that this is the area where most benefit can be realised in terms of maximising impact but is probably the most difficult to achieve. The difficulties involve the multitude of organisations involved in raising and allocating funding and the diverse strategies and requirements of those funds. There are many vested interests and the question of where best to allocate is always a difficult one.
The dilemma between funding projects at home or abroad is ever present and a topical example of this is the current debate in America over a fairer system of access to medical care for all. Recent studies have highlighted the plight of low income groups in America who have little or no access to medical care and have to rely on charity or are forced to go into debt to pay for it. However these financial difficulties are not restricted to lower income groups as recent studies have shown substantial increases in the number of middle class American homeowners having to enter into debt management plans
and even having to declare themselves bankrupt in order to resolve their financial problems.
A report published in the American Journal of Medicine
showed the extent of the financial difficulties highlighting that for over sixty percent of Americans who went into bankruptcy
the main reason was being unable to afford medical bills. Consequential debt problems because of a lack of access to health care are now a serious problem in America and it is hoped that proposed legislative changes will resolve the situation.
Senior managers and executives across many of the organisations involved in funding and improving health care provision around the world agree on the benefits of more structured associations, joint ventures and improved collaboration. This is now being set as a strategic objective in these organisations and many new ventures are emerging under a more collaborative approach.