ISLAMABAD: World Bank’s assistance has been sought for implementation of the proposed National Health Support Programme (NHSP) that will tackle a number of systematic issues, including an insufficient, underutilised and underperforming health workforce, and the shortage of essential medicines, family planning commodities and supplies at the primary healthcare provider level.

The expected cost of the NHSP, to be implemented at the community, primary and secondary care levels, amounts to about $5,900 million for all provinces, over five years. This includes the provincial governments’ budget for primary and secondary level care, a World Bank document says.

The proposed NHSP will utilise a Programme for Results (PforR) instrument, the first in the health sector in Pakistan. The PforR is the most suitable lending instrument given the government’s universal healthcare programme and associated reforms, the recurrent nature of the expected health expenditures, and improvements in the government’s capacity, as witnessed through the National Immunisation Support Project (NISP).

Expected cost of five-year NHSP for four provinces is $5.9bn

The NISP, which has been under implementation since 2016, is an Investment Project Financing (IPF) with Disbursement-Linked Indica­tors (DLIs). Pakistan has demonstrated effective use of the PforR instrument in other sectors such as education and public financial management.

The result-based financing would be complemented by an investment financing component, estimated at less than 20 per cent of the total financing under this operation. This component would also be managed by health departments in the four provinces and the national health services ministry, regulations and coordination to mobilise technical assistance and pilot innovation in a timely manner.

The proposed NHSP would be national in scope, benefiting Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh.

It aims to support the government’s Universal Healthcare Programme.

As health is a devolved subject, the proposed NHSP would support the provincial governments to improve the equitable delivery and quality of essential health services at the PHC level. While the government’s programme comprises a set of services to be delivered at the primary and secondary care levels, the NHSP’s programme boundary is confined to the PHC, defined in the Pakistan’s context as those services being delivered at rural health centres and below, including at the community level.

Published in Dawn, March 9th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Blatant Islamophobia
Updated 30 Jan, 2023

Blatant Islamophobia

Muslim extremists and terrorist outfits are emboldened by hateful acts.
Modern slavery
30 Jan, 2023

Modern slavery

MODERN slavery is a wide-ranging term that can encompass a multitude of scenarios. Common to all of them, however, ...
Remarkable Sania
30 Jan, 2023

Remarkable Sania

BRINGING to a close a career in which she smashed stereotypes, Sania Mirza delivered almost the perfect ending in ...
Losing grip
Updated 29 Jan, 2023

Losing grip

The state and the government are responsible for providing Imran with the security he deserves as a former prime minister.
Telling silence
Updated 29 Jan, 2023

Telling silence

THE silence of the Sindh government over the recent exposé in this paper about Karachi’s water tanker mafia ...
Palestine escalation
29 Jan, 2023

Palestine escalation

THE fire of conflict once again threatens to envelop the land of Palestine, as the growing cycle of violence refuses...