There is a dramatic shortfall in current resources needed to achieve sustained progress in health to meet Goal 3 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 3). While infectious diseases are a major health risk in the lower-income countries, the burden of non-communicable diseases –largely preventable– is also increasing. Non-communicable diseases in industrialised countries are estimated to cost the equivalent of a 10% tax on of gross domestic product (GDP), and spending on them is estimated to account for almost 60% of current health spending, approximately US$ 2,400 per person every year. Estimates from the World Health Organisation suggest that annual investment of up to US$ 371 billon is required in lower- and middle-income countries to achieve the SDG 3. While up to 85% of necessary investment to achieve SDG 3 may be met with domestic resources in higher-income countries, in lower-income countries —arguably the countries for whom SDG 3 progress is most critical— annual shortfalls of up to US$ 54 billion are estimated to occur.
Innovative Funding for Health for Everyone
The economic argument for continuing to invest in better health remains the same as that demonstrated by the 2001 Sachs report on macroeconomics and health: healthier populations are more productive, which leads to greater economic productivity. However, public budgets on health are overstretched across the globe. Given the real resource constraints of public budgets and competing interests for private investments, convincing the right stakeholders to invest in health and cost-effective solutions is paramount for sustainable growth. Our Partnership believes that there are a range of initiatives and innovative funding mechanisms on R&D and delivery mechanisms that have proven to be successful and which G20 countries could consider adopting to ease the pressure on extensively overstretched public budgets that together with smart new medicines, vaccines and diagnostics can make a significant difference in fighting deadly diseases.