This chapter presents a summary of the conceptual accounting framework for health financing and of one of its main components, the new classification of health care financing schemes (ICHA‐HF). This summary also serves as an introduction to Chapter 8,
in which the classification of revenue of financing schemes (ICHA‐FS) is presented. Furthermore, in SHA 2011 the accounting framework for health care financing also encompasses the concept of institutional units of health financing and the related classification
of financing agents (ICHA‐FA) as a tool for a more detailed national analysis (see Annex D). The three classifications together provide the tools to account comprehensively for health care financing and describe the flow of financial resources in the health
system. This introduction therefore provides a brief definition of all the key concepts and highlights their relationships. The relevance of the particular classifications and cross‐tabulations may vary for countries that differ in the organisational structure and level
of resources of their health care systems, as well as in their level of economic development and their dependency on foreign resources.