For more than 50 years, health spending has increased steadily, in many cases outpacing economic growth.1 As health spending grows as a share of the global economy, it is essential to know how spending on health is distributed among diseases and how national health spending differs. Assessing health spending, the source of the financing, and the distribution of the funds across different countries, populations, and diseases is crucial to ensure that funds for health are used optimally and equitably.

In many low-income countries, health spending amounts to less than $100 (2017 purchasing-power parity-adjusted dollars) per person annually, whereas in many high-income countries, health spending exceeds $5000 per person.2 While these national disparities are relatively well known, estimates of disease-specific spending around the world are scarce. Some National Health Accounts do exist for specific health areas, including maternal and child health, vaccines, malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS.3 Disease-specific health accounting methodologies—such as National AIDS Spending Assessments—have also been developed………… continue reading