Strengthening Health Systems

Many national health systems don’t work well enough for countries to achieve universal health coverage (UHC): effective, equitable, affordable access to high-quality essential health services by everyone who needs them. When even one aspect of the health system breaks down:

  • People don’t go to health facilities, because overburdened, poorly managed health workers may not treat patients effectively and with the respect they deserve
  • Families can’t afford to use essential health services
  • Health workers can’t get medicines to treat their patients
  • Health system leaders don’t have the data they need to target services and allocate resources

MSH strengthens health systems to increase access to and use of services and to sustainably improve the quality of care.

The 4 Pillars of Strong Health Systems

At the foundation of our work—at every level of the health system from national to district, facility, and community—are four key pillars that are essential to progress in developing integrated, equitable, people-centered health systems that work:

MSH focuses on achieving the greatest health results and serving those most in need. Our pathway to results allows MSH and its country partners to focus on interventions that work best in project design, implementation, and evaluation, foster country-led and country-owned programs that create sustainable health systems, and harness the strength of all sectors: public, private, and civil society--to work together as a unified whole. In short, we work at all levels of the health system--from the household to the community to the health facility to national authorities.