Tracking health expenditure on COVID-19 within the system of health accounts framework



This document is intended for countries’ health accounts teams and provides a methodological technical note for tracking and classifying coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) health expenditure and related expenditure in accordance with the System of Health Accounts (SHA 2011). Its main goal is to help WHO Member States integrate internationally comparable COVID-19 health spending estimates into their health accounts. While the SHA does not aim to comprehensively measure all the spending of a pandemic response because many activities take place outside of health systems, it can still shed light on COVID-19 related expenditures within the health system.

The document focuses on current health care and capital expenditures and therefore does not include all components of of COVID-19 response measures. It provides criteria for mapping to SHA 2011 classifications that allow countries to account for similar transactions in a consistent way. This document is largely based on the recommendations introduced by IHAT (OECD, Eurostat and WHO) for the Joint Health Accounts Questionnaire 2021 and 2022, which have been expanded to include specific reporting elements related to the COVID-19 expenditures using in Health Accounts Production tool and Health Accounts Questionnaire.


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