BISHKEK (TCA) — The World Bank’s Board of Directors on June 7 endorsed a new Primary Health Care Quality Improvement Program for the Kyrgyz Republic, to the amount of US$ 20 million from the International Development Association (IDA), including US$ 10 million as a concessional credit and US$ 10 million as a grant. An additional grant of US$ 17 million is also being provided by a Multi-Donor Trust Fund supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the German Development Bank (KfW).
“The project supports the Kyrgyz Republic’s new health strategy for 2019-2030, Healthy Person – Prosperous Country,” said Bolormaa Amgaabazar, World Bank Country Manager for the Kyrgyz Republic. “We are investing in primary health care because it is the fundamental foundation of the health system, reaching the largest share of the population. Since most services in primary health care are free or have a low copayment, the project will have a strong indirect effect on equity, as it will be more likely to benefit the poor.”
Health has long been a priority in the Kyrgyz Republic, and access to health services is widespread. Moreover, the country has conducted successive health system reforms since 1996, and currently spends over 8 percent of its GDP on health. Indeed, the country has achieved better health outcomes compared to other countries with a similar income level. The Kyrgyz population enjoys a longer life expectancy today, increasing from 66.5 years in 1996 to 71.0 years in 2016, due to significant progress in reducing under-5 mortality, improvements in undernourishment, and reduction in prevalence of tuberculosis.
Despite these achievements, however, health outcomes among the population could be significantly improved, especially with regard to maternal mortality, neonatal and maternal disorders, and non-communicable diseases.
“The new project will build upon the successful experience of two ongoing health sector operations and will help prepare the Kyrgyz Republic in moving toward effective and sustainable universal health coverage,” said Ha Thi Hong Nguyen, Project Task Team Leader. “The project will utilize a new financial instrument, Program for Results, whereby funds are disbursed based on concrete achieved outcomes.”
The Primary Health Care Quality Improvement Program will be implemented throughout 2019-24 by the Kyrgyz Republic’s Ministry of Health and Mandatory Health Insurance Fund. In line with the Kyrgyz authorities’ emphasis on eliminating corruption in the public sector, the World Bank will apply its anti-corruption measures to ensure transparency in the project implementation process and proper use of finances.
Specifically, the Primary Health Care Quality Improvement Program will target quality improvements in three key result areas: 1) service delivery, 2) strategic purchasing, and 3) stewardship and governance.
The first area focuses on establishing and strengthening systems for quality care reporting and monitoring as foundations for sustainable quality improvement. The second supports strategic purchasing for quality services and improving coverage for selected priority conditions. The third aims to establish a national-level structure and mechanism for coordinated efforts to improve quality of care in the country.