Common Goods for Health

A new special issue of Health Systems & Reform focuses on Common Goods for Health. These public goods, which benefit society and health in particular, have a strong economic justification for collective financing. These include environmental regulation, epidemiological surveillance, disaster preparedness, the slowing of the emergence of antibiotic-resistant diseases, safe roads, sanitation, and healthy food. The concept of common good is gaining momentum across sectors and has become a key driver of global economic growth.

An important part of universal health coverage is investing in health products

A critical part of universal health coverage is the financing of the Common Goods for Health. These public goods are the interventions and functions that contribute to health and well-being. In fact, the policy process towards universal health coverage (UHC) involves financing these public goods and their related costs. This paper draws from country experiences and budget documents to build an evidence-based argument for reorganizing donor and government finance. The argument for collective financing of CommonGoods for Healthcare is simple: governments should invest in them.


It is time for governments to solve collective problems for the public good by investing in the Common Goods for Health. However, enacting the financing of CommonGoods for Health requires more than petitioning benevolent states to take action. It is a political process that involves political institutions and stakeholders. If governments are truly committed to improving the lives of people, it is time to start investing in CommonGoods for Health. You’ll be glad you did!

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