Ministry of Health Belize


Apr 21st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home Health Initiatives Health Systems Strengthening

Health Systems Strengthening

E-mail Print PDF

"Health systems strengthening gained attention when the World Health Organization published its 2000 report, Health Systems: Improving Performance. The international public health community realized that disease-specific interventions—such as those for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria—need to do more to address problems within the frail health systems in which they are  executed. Improvements need to be broadened beyond disease-focused, time-limited service delivery contracts to become lasting changes in how health systems operate.

In its 2007 Everybody's Business: Strengthening Health Systems to Improve Health Outcomes, WHO defined a health system as "organizations, people, and actions whose primary intent is to promote, restore, or maintain health." They put forth six health system building blocks, that is, six basic functions a health system must carry out effectively if it is to achieve its goals:

  • Health services must be efficient, effective, and accessible.

  • A number of well-trained staff should be available.

  • Health information systems should generate useful data on health determinants and health system performance.

  • Access to medicines, vaccines, and medical technologiesmust be equitable.

  • Health financing systems must raise adequate funds for health, ensuring that people can access affordable services.

  • Leadership must ensure effective oversight, regulation, and accountability."