HEU, Centre for Health Economics

Making a Difference


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In June 2020, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization designated the HEU, Centre for Health Economics, The University of West Indies at St. Augustine, as a PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Economics and Financing for a period of four years.


Activities for:

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Activities undertaken in 2022

  1. A comprehensive review of health financing arrangements in the Caribbean. 
  2. The implementation of the WHO Health Financing Progress Matrix (HFPM) in two (2) Caribbean countries (St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) and Suriname). 
  3. The organization and execution of an annual UWI-HEU/Country Agency/PAHO Caribbean conference on national health financing initiatives. 
  4. Publication of an article on existing financial protection mechanisms, and development of a policy option paper on mechanisms to strengthening financial protection in the Caribbean. 


Outputs included:

  • An article entitled “A Review of Health Financing Systems in the Caribbean and Recommendations for Strengthening these Systems to Secure Universal Health Coverage”.
  • An article entitle “A Systematic Review of Financial Protection Mechanisms in 20 English-Speaking Caribbean Countries.
  • Health Financing Progress Matrix (HFPM) conducted in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) on July 12 2022 (Virtual Workshop 1) and from August 3rd to 5th 2022 (Onsite Workshop 2), and in Suriname from October 4th to 6th 2022 (Onsite).  The objectives of the workshops were to:
    • Conduct a qualitative assessment of strengths and weaknesses of health financing arrangements using the WHO’s HFPM;
    • Indicate strategies and measures for consolidating strengths and addressing weaknesses in these arrangements to secure the goals and commitments to UHC; and
    • Develop in-house capacity to measure and monitor progress of the above measures, as well as to conduct future assessments.
    • HFPM Assessment: Towards Universal Health Coverage: SVG Results and HFPM Assessment: Towards Universal Health Coverage: Suriname Results.


Pictures from HFPM Workshop in Suriname
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Pictures from HFPM Workshop in SVG
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  • The HEU’s 14th Health Financing Conference was held in Antigua and Barbuda from October 19th to 21st 2022.  The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Confronting the Financing Challenges of COVID-19 and the Unfinished Universal Coverage Agenda’ with specific focus on the:
    • Financial impact and coping strategies globally and in the Caribbean to COVID-19;
    • Fiscal space for health;
    • Financial progress and plans to address the unfinished agenda of Universal Health Coverage in the Caribbean especially in the areas of efficiency, financial protection and public-private partnerships and health financing arrangements; and
    • Challenges such as childhood obesity and new directions to consider such as digitization of health records and data analytics.


Pictures from 14th Health Financing Conference  

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Activities undertaken in 2021

  1. Development of health financing system reform in two Member States of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). 
  2. Provision of technical support to two OECS countries selected by PAHO/WHO to develop and build capacity in using health financing progress matrices and financial protection indicators. 
  3. Development and facilitation of a sub-regional workshop on the System of Health Accounts methodology (SHA 2011) and
  4. Development and launch of an online course. 



  • Reports produced:
    • The Burden of Disease in Barbados;
    • Fiscal Space for Health Financing in Barbados;
    • Macroeconomic Review to Inform Health Financing in Barbados; and
    • Costing and Efficiency Study of Selected Health Facilities in St. Kitts and Nevis
    • Health Financing Progress Matrix Assessment: Barbados 2021;
    • Health Financing Progress Matrix Assessment: Antigua and Barbuda 2021;
    • Financial Protection in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States: Grenada Results; and
    • Financial Protection in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States: St. Kitts and Nevis Results.
  • Two Workshops focusing on developing and building capacity in the use of the Health Financing Progress Matrix (HFPM) for Barbados was conducted virtually from September 2-3, 2021 and from September 30 - October 1, 2021 and two HFPM Workshops for Antigua and Barbuda were held from August 24-25, 2021 and the second from September 21-22, 2021 via the Zoom Conferencing Platform.  Participants completed the HFPM using their country information with the guidance of the UWI-HEU team and PAHO representatives.  Workshop 1 focused on Stage 1 of the HFPM while Workshop 2 focused on Stage 2 of the HFPM. 
  • The Introduction to Financial Protection Indicators in Health Workshop was conducted virtually over two days- September 9th and 10th, 2021 with participants from the Ministry of Health, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Grenada.
  • Two 2-day SHA2011 workshops were held in Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadine.  The first workshop for Barbados was conducted virtually over two days- August 16th and 17th, 2021 and on September 14th and 15th, 2021 for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  The second workshop was held virtually over three days- August 23rd- 25th, 2021 (Barbados) and October 13th-15th, 2021 (St. Vincent and the Grenadines).  The main aim of the first workshop was to build capacity in health accounts, more specifically to:
    • Define key concepts of the SHA 2011 methodology;
    • Differentiate between the different classifications of the health accounts;
    • Demonstrate an understanding of health boundary setting for health accounts and its associated classifications;
    • Describe the process for conducting health accounts;
    • Identify the key stakeholders in a health accounts exercise; and
    • Discuss the policy uses of the health accounts to their country.
    • The second workshop focused on:
    • The health accounts estimation process;
    • Demonstrating the use of the health accounts interface with application to the participants’ country;
    • Designing a health accounts estimation for the participants’ country; and
    • Equipping participants with the tool to execute a health account for their country.
  • In addition to the SHA2011 workshops, a 10-week online course was also delivered under this area from September 27, 2021 to November 22nd 2021.  The course modules (English Version) were provided by PAHO and included:
    • Introduction;
    • Module 1: The System of Health Accounts (SHA2011):
      • 1.1 – Health Accounts and the SHA2011 Framework, and
      • 1.2 – Estimation Methods in SHA2011;
    • Module 2: Main Classifications, which include:
      • 2.1 - Classification of Health Care Functions (HC),
      • 2.2 - Classification of Health Care Providers (HP),
      • 2.3 - The Financing Dimension,
      • 2.4 - Financing Schemes (HF),
      • 2.5 - Revenues of Schemes (FS),
      • 2.6 – Financing Agents (FA), and
      • 2.7 – Classification of Capital Formation (HK);
    • Module 3: Other classifications of the Health Accounts System (SHA2011):
      • 3.1: Distribution of Expenditure by diseases (DIS).
      • 3.2: Factors of Provision (FP), and
      • 3.3 - Other classifications in SHA2011.
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