Innovative Financing Options for the Preservice Education of Health Professionals

February 2013

Dr. Kate Tulenko, IntraHealth International, and Dr. Alex Preker, World Bank

Health professional students in RwandaThe World Health Organization (2006) has estimated that there is a shortage of four million health workers globally, one million of whom are needed in Africa alone. Despite significant investments in scaling up health workers made by a variety of developing-country governments and donors, the available funding falls grossly short of what is required. Clearly, if the world is to meet its health workforce needs, new sources of funding for health worker education need to be found.

In order to address this problem, the USAID-funded CapacityPlus project, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank, and the Global Health Workforce Alliance (GHWA) brought together technical experts and stakeholders to discuss and agree on innovative solutions for the financing of preservice education. In addition, the IFC and the World Bank wrote an analysis paper on the issue. Below is a summary of the innovative forms of financing proposed or documented through this process. The majority of these examples have been applied successfully in medical schools. Several have also been used in other institutions, such as schools of nursing or pharmacy. We suggest that health professional schools consider how each of the financing sources might apply to their school.

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