The Pacific Island Countries have been making efforts to establish and develop national health accounts for more than a decade, starting with pioneering efforts by Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga in the early 2000s. During this time, interest in health accounts and statistics had increased, and in almost all countries some initial efforts have been made to track health expenditures with the help of several donor agencies. As of mid-2009 when the ADB-WHO project started, Samoa and Tonga had managed to sustain the regular updating of their national health accounts, albeit biennially, whilst the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji and Vanuatu had each completed one round of estimates, but heavily reliant on external consultants and with varying methodologies. All other Pacific Island Countries have not yet completed a full round of NHA estimates, albeit some have completed preparatory stages such as public health expenditure reviews.
Accordingly, the WHO initiated and ADB funded project Strengthening Evidence Based Policy-Making in the Pacific: Support for Development of National Health Accounts (ADB TA 6496-REG), that was started in March 2009 and lasted until August 2010, invested in supporting the institutionalization of NHA in the Pacific countries through a number of activities: One component of the project supported three pilot countries – the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji and Vanuatu – to undertake a second round of NHA estimates and through that further institutionalize their NHA activities (see the NHA reports for Fiji and FSM for download). Other components of the project developed the following standardized resource material and training tools that can also be downloaded from this side:
1. Technical Notes No 1: Developing health accounts classifications
and health accounts database,
2. Technical Notes No 2: Scoping of data for development of health accounts,
3. Technical Notes No 3: Design of surveys with specific reference to private hospitals,
4. Why invest in National Health Accounts – the Pacific Island Countries View,
5. A study on the use of National Health Accounts for policy making in the Pacific Island countries – with recommendations for advocacy and capacity building,
6. National Health Accounts implementation in Pacific Island countries: the experiences of Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga.