Our WorkInitiatives Transforming Health Systems

Transforming Health Systems

Building strong health systems and advancing universal health coverage.


AH-THS Planetary Health Image

While health spending has increased dramatically around the world, access to affordable, quality services – without the risk of financial hardship – has lagged. At the same time, health systems are increasingly serving as buffers between vulnerable communities and crises, yet inadequate and ill-resourced national health systems lack the capacity to meet daily health needs, as well as anticipate, prepare for, and recover from health shocks down the line.

  • A doctor consults with patients. (Photo credit: Jonas Bendiksen)

Our Strategy

Launched in 2009, The Rockefeller Foundation’s Transforming Health Systems (THS) initiative, aims, to catalyze innovations and actions that create broader access to affordable, quality health services in developing countries and help contribute to greater resilience.

Advancing Universal Health Coverage 

THS is focused on universal health coverage (UHC) – providing access to all people the health services they need without causing financial hardship by reducing out-of-pocket expenses. More than 150 million individuals worldwide face catastrophic healthcare expenditures, and over 25 million families descend into poverty each year as a result.

Our UHC work is oriented toward four goals:

  • Elevating UHC as a primary health goal in the post-2015 development framework
  • Empowering practitioners and policymakers at the country and regional levels to facilitate knowledge sharing and joint problem solving,
  • Improving health information systems through better use of eHealth platforms, and
  • Creating greater equity in access to care and treatment

Key successes include the adoption of a UN resolution by more than 90 countries to encourage countries to build health systems that can treat all citizens, regardless of income, location, and gender. This resolution — and our continued advocacy — contributed to positioning UHC as an umbrella health goal for the post-2015 development framework. THS also supported the launch of the Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage, a community of practice owned by the countries themselves. The Network includes more than 20 member countries to address multiple challenges associated with achieving UHC.

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