WHO Barcelona course on health financing: universal health coverage 2014

10–14 March 2014, Barcelona, Spain 

WHO/Europe is pleased to announce the next annual Barcelona Course on Health Financing to be held from 10 to 14 March 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. This week-long intensive course is offered by the Division of Health Systems and Public Health through the WHO Barcelona Office for Health Systems Strengthening.

The deadline for receiving applications is 20 January 2014.


On the theme of universal health coverage, the course will review policy instruments to improve health systems performance through better health financing policy, focusing on revenue collection, pooling, purchasing and benefit design. It will explore themes related to universal coverage and the impact of the financial crisis on health systems, and place emphasis on policy instruments to achieve efficiency gains. The course will offer many examples and practical experiences from the WHO European Region.

The course is built around the following modules:

  • coordinating reform – aligning policy instruments with policy objectives
  • raising revenues – thinking outside the box
  • pooling health revenues – the costs of fragmentation
  • purchasing – getting more health for the money
  • designing a benefit package – equity, affordability and transparency.

In each module, participants and trainers will be engaged in interactive discussions.

The course will be delivered in English.


The course faculty includes experts from Imperial College London, the Ministry of National Resources of Hungary, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), WHO/Europe and WHO headquarters.

The core training team will be composed of:

  • Tamás Evetovits, Senior Health Financing Specialist, WHO/Europe
  • Melitta Jakab, Senior Health Financing Policy Analyst, WHO/Europe
  • Sarah Thomson, Senior Health Financing Specialist, WHO/Europe
  • Joseph Kutzin, Head of Health Financing Policy Team, WHO headquarters
  • Nora Markova, Health Expenditure and Financing Analyst, WHO/Europe.

Keynote speakers will be:

  • Peter Smith, Professor of Health Policy, Imperial College London
  • Miklós Szócska, Minister of State for Health, Ministry of National Resources, Hungary
  • Ankit Kumar, Economist, OECD.

Target groups and participants

The course will accept a maximum of 50 participants. It is designed for policy-makers in the health sector, policy-makers in government in charge of social policy, senior managers of service-provider organizations, and experts involved in health system reform. This course is an advanced course and candidates are expected to have participated in generic health system training programmes and have extensive work experience.

A course committee will select participants based on the relevance of the course material to applicants’ work functions, evidence of previous training in health system strengthening and English language abilities.

Registration fee

To secure participation in the course, accepted participants will be charged a registration fee of €100. This fee is payable upon acceptance of the application.

WHO/Europe will cover the costs of tuition, course materials, coffee breaks and lunches on all five days of the course, and one dinner reception.

Participants (or their funding agency) will be responsible for covering the costs of travel, accommodation and subsistence while in Barcelona. Special rates will be arranged at hotels close to the venue.

If a selected participant declines or fails to make payment on time, another candidate from the waiting list will be offered the chance to participate.


The course will be held in Casa Convalescencia, part of the complex of the Hospital de Sant Pau, one of the most outstanding examples of modernist architecture in Barcelona. Besides being a point of reference in terms of the heritage and culture of Barcelona, the historical complex’s impact stretches beyond Europe to the rest of the world. Owing to the uniqueness of its construction and its artistic beauty, the whole hospital complex was declared a historic artistic monument in 1978 and a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997. Originally, the building was designed and used as a hospital facility. Since 1969, it has belonged to the Autonomous University of Barcelona and has been host to many high-profile academic events. 

UAB – Casa Convalescencia
Carrer de Sant Antoni Maria Claret, 171
08041 Barcelona, Spain
Tel.: +34 935 81 74 01


Reunions i Ciencia is managing the application process, on behalf of WHO/Europe. To secure a place, applicants are invited to submit a completed online application form available on the course website


Course directors: Dr Tamás Evetovits, Dr Melitta Jakab

For further inquires about the course, please contact:

Email: whobar@euro.who.int

Tel.: +34 607 07 07