Health care financing is best captured in National Health Accounts (NHA). Although the quality of data for developing countries is often variable, repeated measurements using similar criteria allows trend analysis of both source and direction of healthcare financing. Other sources also exist for some of this information. In particular, household expenditure data from Demographic and Health Surveys and National Health Surveys, as well as country specific data whose collection is often supported by the World Bank, PHRplus, and national statistics and accounting offices.

Healthcare financing information is an important measure of the strength and breadth of healthcare safety nets and allows insights into equity of access and the health related economic risks of low income groups. Because trend data is currently available from NHA, both within and across countries, healthcare financing data can be used to benchmark country commitments to national health services and, to some extent, the efficacy of efforts to target government health spending and health policies.