Understand how countries are financing their health promotion funds, and how much really needs to go into a fund.
There is a wide range of potential sources for financing health promotion, from the health sector (e.g. health budget allocations, social insurance contributions) and beyond (e.g. tobacco taxes).
- General treasury budget
- Dedicated or surcharge tax or value added tax (VAT)
- Health insurance
- Fund allocation arrangement from different countries
Taxes on tobacco products become revenue for health promotion activities and other social development programs. Raising tobacco taxes also leads to decreases in smoking prevalence, which translates directly into health benefits for the population. But the social, economic, and health costs of tobacco consumption should be shouldered by tobacco companies; introducing an additional surcharge tax on tobacco products specifically for health promotion is one way to hold tobacco companies liable for the harms their products inflict on consumers.
- Direct health and other benefits of tax increases
- Countering the tobacco industry
- A fair return to smokers
- The ability to invest in a range of long-term health-related initiatives
- A means to replace tobacco advertising and sponsorship
- A lasting funding source, despite change
- Less susceptible to diversion of funding for purposes other than health promotion
Ideally, at least 15% of a country’s national expenditure should go into health promotion and disease prevention programmes. But what percentage are countries actually allocating?