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National Health Systems

We help national health systems fundamentally improve health outcomes, working with clients to expand access to health services, improve the quality of care, use resources more effectively, and deliver better patient experiences.

Healthcare spending continues to grow rapidly, making it difficult to expand access to quality care. We support healthcare transformation efforts around the world, working with national health systems, nongovernmental organizations, and global public health partners to set strategic priorities, design effective systems, build capabilities, and implement innovative and cost-effective delivery models.

What we do

In the last 5 years, we have conducted more than 400 projects to boost the performance of health systems. Of those, approximately 200 projects in 30 countries have addressed health systems design, which typically covers restructuring, financing, and capacity planning.

Generally, our health systems projects are designed to achieve tangible impact within 18 months, but we also partner over longer time horizons to help stage broader transformations.

Examples of our work

Our consultants provide guidance and tools for addressing topics such as achieving sustainable financing, making use of innovations such as mobile healthcare (mHealth), and controlling the incidence and impact of chronic diseases.

We recently completed a 4-year health system reform effort in the Middle East to provide insurance for all 35 million of its citizens. Our support included:

  • evaluating the health system’s challenges and potential
  • designing a new national health insurance system/payor as well as public/private provider networks
  • developing demand-side financing models
  • testing the new primary care system in a regional pilot

We have also contributed to dozens of global public health projects; recently, we worked with the Health Metrics Network of the World Health Organization to implement an information system to better capture and disseminate accurate health data.

Featured capabilities

We have long supported primary healthcare research and undertaken global healthcare initiatives. In addition to publishing our perspectives on health system reform, health system financing, and innovative health service delivery, we lead unique initiatives such as the following:

  • hosting the annual Forum for Health in Geneva, which brings together senior officials and private-sector leaders of healthcare systems to engage on a range of health topics and learn from each other
  • driving the Health Systems Institute, which supports health system leaders; resources include the Leading Systems Network, a membership-based community convening leaders from forward-thinking health systems, and McKinsey Advanced Healthcare Analytics, which offers systems diagnostics


Viktor Hediger

Senior Partner, Dubai

Martin Markus

Senior Partner, London

Impact stories

Transforming a national healthcare system

Support for a Middle Eastern country transformed the healthcare system and extended healthcare coverage to all citizens.

Building a stronger health workforce

Making better use of facilities and resources while targeting new investments produces twice the number of trained health workers at a lower cost.

New approach to payor performance saves lives and cuts costs

Redesigned services are improving outcomes for a major city health system.



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