Catastrophic health spending
Gender-sensitive approaches
Gross domestic product
Low- and middle-income countries
Pooling funds
Primary health care
Social determinants of health
Social participation
Strategic litigation


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Health spending is defined as catastrophic if a household’s financial contributions to the health system exceed 10% of income after basic needs have been met.
Gender-sensitive approaches look at the way that policies impact people of different genders in specific ways. They consider gender relations and existing inequalities among genders, and note how a specific policy may address the targeted needs of a specific gender.
Gross domestic product (GDP) is a standard measure of a country's overall economic activity.
Low and middle income countries or LMICs are classified by the World Bank by gross national income. Countries with a gross national income (GNI) per capita of $1,035 or less as low income. Middle income countries have a GNI per capita between $1,036 and $12,535
These are the expenses that individuals have to pay to health care providers from their own pocket at the time they use the service. They can take the form of user fees, prescription charges, lab tests and other charges for health services. Many health systems are dependent on these payments. In 2018, OOP payments accounted for more than half of the national health budget in two-thirds of low-income countries. For more information, see the WHO report Global Spending on Health: Weathering the storm’
This refers to individuals contributing to a combined pot of money that can be accessed by all.
Primary health care describes basic health services that are provided at the community level. They include vaccination, maternity care and access to general practitioners, such as family doctors and community health care workers.
The non-medical factors that influence health outcomes. They are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life.
Social participation in health is the involvement and influence of people and communities in decisions affecting their health, including planning and implementing policy and programs. Since health is influenced by decisions made in a number of sectors, social participation in health can extend to broader participatory governance. To learn more, see the WHO’s social participation handbook for policymakers.
Strategic litigation is identifying and pursuing legal cases with the goal of creating broader changes in society and protecting human rights. They often aim to change unjust policies and practices in the long-term, secure remedies or relief for the impacted communities, and raise public awareness of an issue.