What is HPF ?

HPF is abbreviated from Health Promotion Fund.

A health promotion fund is an investment for any country towards safeguarding the health and well-being of their population.  The fund provides proactive and flexible grants to diverse multi-sectoral partners to drive health promotion programmes at a population level. Health promotion programmes help reduce the burden of NCDs and mitigate the corresponding economic and social burdens.

The key characteristics of a HPF may include some or all of the following aspects:

  1. Their main purpose is to fund health promotion activities;
  2. Their mission is based on specific legislation;
  3. They are a legal body (juristic person governed by private or public law) with a governance structure that includes stakeholder representation;
  4. Their financing is institutionalized in order to provides for long term budgeting and recurrent budget for the purpose of health promotion;
  5. They are not aligned with any one political group; and
  6. They promote health by working with and across many sectors and levels of society

Why are health promotion funds so important?

Reliable long-term funding stream for promoting and improving population health.

Most cost-effective way

Establishing a sustainable health promotion funding mechanism is the most cost-effective way to generate a reliable long-term funding stream for promoting and improving population health. A HPF can help alleviate the budget shortcoming for health promotion programmes.

Need durable, dedicated and sustainable funding

Health promotion services and programmes require durable, dedicated and sustainable funding. It has been a less-than-promising journey as most health promotion budgets are solely dependent on the annual government budget allocations that are often limited, vary from year to year, and cut when resources are constrained. Government funding for health promotion initiatives often pales in comparison to that provided for curative acute health care. As a result, health promotion programmes are inadequately staffed and severely under-resourced in most countries. And setting up a health promotion fund or foundation is not a magic bullet; it can pose coordination and public sector stewardship challenges.

Where the fund came from

An effective way to generate a sustainable stream of revenue using fiscal measures (not necessarily limited to or originating from the health sector) is raising tobacco excise taxes or introducing a surcharge tax, and dedicating some of that revenue to a health promotion fund or foundation.