October 24, 2005

World Bank finances health sector reform project

The World Bank has approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$6.5 million to support the Government of Lesotho's health sector reform program. It will focus on policy and institutional reforms for better service delivery in Lesotho, and support the development of health financing policy and financing reforms to increase efficiency of public expenditures. It is also expected to explore pro-poor mechanisms to improve the equity and sustainability of sector financing, promote out-sourcing to achieve efficiency gains, develop performance management system, and devise mechanisms for more effective delivery of essential health services at district level and below.
The first component of the project - Essential Health Services Delivery - will focus on improving the effectiveness of the delivery of priority health interventions at district and community level. The second one - Strengthening Human Resources - will support innovative approaches required to address the severe constraints in human resources, such as continuing education opportunities for contracted medical officers and nurses and career advancement opportunities. The third component - Improving Efficiency of Health Sector Financing, Financial Management and Planning - aims to support the further development and implementation of a national health sector financing policy which will address the role of the public sector, efficiency in mobilization and allocation of public financing and strategies for ensuring sustainable financing. And the last component - Queen Elizabeth II Hospital - will support preparations for the replacement of the Queen Elizabeth II hospital. (World Bank, Washington)

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