, Pakistan

World Bank OKs US$258m programme to boost Pakistan’s healthcare systems

The programme will build on health reforms and improve healthcare quality.

To ramp up national efforts on universal health coverage in Pakistan, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved the National Health Support Programme (NHSP) worth US$258m.

In a statement, the World Bank said the programme will boost primary healthcare systems and speed up national efforts towards universal health coverage in Pakistan.

It will also complement ongoing investments in human resources and build on health reforms which seek to enhance quality and accessibility to medical services, especially in communities lagging behind national and regional-level health outcomes.

“By strengthening provincial health systems, this program is foundational to building the country’s human capital and improving health and nutrition outcomes for its citizens,” Najy Benhassine, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan, said.

Specifically, the programme will focus on these healthcare reforms:

Healthcare coverage and quality of essential services to ensure adequate staffing, supplies and medicines, and enhance patient referral systems to expedite emergency and higher-level care.

Governance and accountability to strengthen oversight and management of primary healthcare services through real-time monitoring of available supplies and essential medicines. This includes a central information platform for provincial authorities to assess gaps in service delivery across public and private healthcare facilities.

Healthcare financing to improve the financial management of primary healthcare centres for better expenditure tracking and budget forecasting to sustain quality healthcare services and delivery.

The NHSP is co-financed by the International Development Association worth US$258m and two grants valued at US$82m from the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF), including a US$40m grant for protecting essential health services amid multiple global crises.

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