Primary Health Care Financing and Payment: Lessons and Best Practices from the COVID-19 Pandemic

March 25, 2021

This report includes six case studies sharing how Bangladesh, China, Kenya, Nigeria, the Philippines, and the Republic of Korea have coordinated their COVID-19 pandemic responses. The case studies, which were developed by the JLN Primary Healthcare (PHC) Financing and Payment Collaborative sub-group, also cover how these countries are financing and paying for essential health services at the primary health care level.
Dr. Subrata Paul, Focal Person, Bangladesh National Health Accounts cell, Health Economics Unit – Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Bangladesh, said:
“The most fabulous thing about this case studies are you already know what will work and what will not in your country context from other countries experience. Learning about how the countries are implementing their self-invented methods to combat COVID is always helpful. Bangladesh will try to pilot a few case studies in small scale and will share the experience.”
The report features the following six case studies:

With high population density, a thriving informal economy and many inter-generational families, officials in Bangladesh focused on data to identify clusters for transmission, to target different levels of restrictions and safety precautions.

Read the Bangladesh brief.



Officials in China developed a strategy that sought to minimize infection by identifying, addressing, and conducting contact tracing for infections as soon as possible.

Read the China brief.


Kenya’s response prioritized the efficient collection and synthesis of data at both the national and county level, to ensure timeliness and accuracy. This approach allowed the Kenyan government to stay abreast of the rapidly evolving situation, monitoring human resources, test kits, drugs, and personal protection equipment levels to direct resources where they were needed.

Read the Kenya brief.


Nigeria’s systems-based response not only helped reduce the burden of morbidity and mortality in the immediate term but has also helped prepare Nigeria to better handle a resurgence of COVID-19 — or any other pandemic of similar magnitude.

Read the Nigeria brief.


At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Philippines Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) played a pivotal role in financing healthcare services, leveraging existing systems to quickly respond and contribute to the pandemic response.

Read the Philippines brief.

Republic of Korea:

In the aftermath of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome outbreak in 2015, the Republic of Korea implemented many policy changes to boost pandemic preparedness and provided a crucial foundation for the COVID-19 response.