Suriname conducts workshop to implement the WHO Health Financing Progress Matrix

5 Oct 2022
Participants at the HFPM Workshop in Paramaribo, Suriname

Participants at the HFPM Workshop in Paramaribo, Suriname 

Paramaribo, Suriname, October 05, 2022 (PAHO/WHO) – The Ministry of Health Suriname with support from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Health Economics Unit at the University of the West Indies (UWI) is currently conducting a three-day workshop from October 4 to 6, 2022 to implement the Health Financing Progress Matrix.

The Health Financing Progress Matrix (HFPM) is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) standardized qualitative assessment of a country’s health financing system and provides real-time information to policy makers. It assesses strengths and weaknesses in a country’s health financing system, based on a set of evidence-based benchmarks, framed as nineteen desirable attributes. 

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has placed a significant burden on health systems. In order for health systems to be able to respond and recover, sustainable health financing mechanisms should be explored. Suriname has committed to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) that seeks to improve equity in access to health services, service quality, and financial protection for its population. Health financing policy is therefore an integral part of efforts to move towards UHC and is an integral component of the plan to renew the health services. 

During the opening ceremony, the PAHO/WHO Representative in Suriname, Dr. Karen Lewis-Bell commended Suriname for surpassing the WHO recommended 6% of GDP spending on health. She noted that the WHO Global Health Expenditure database for 2019 estimated a total health expenditure of 9.7% of GDP and public health expenditure of 7.01% of the GDP. Though commendable, she noted that challenges remain in sustainable health financing.

Director of Health, Dr. Gajadhar Sukul noted that ensuring sustainable health financing is important for the country to move towards Universal Health Coverage. He further highlighted that building a strong health system is the priority of the Ministry of Health. The workshop reported on the progress and gaps in health financing arrangements and build capacity amongst stakeholders to monitor and measure progress towards Universal Health Coverage.

The workshop will report on the progress and gaps in health financing arrangements and build capacity amongst stakeholders to monitor and measure progress towards Universal Health Coverage.