Meghalaya Govt, Indian Govt, World Bank Sign Healthcare Pact

Meghalaya Govt, Indian Govt, World Bank Sign Healthcare Pact

A 40 million dollar healthcare project pact for Meghalaya was signed between the Meghalaya government, the Indian government and the World Bank. The project is aimed at improving health infrastructure, services and enhancing the state's capacity to handle future health emergencies including Covid-19 pandemic.

The ministry of finance said in a statement, "The Meghalaya Health Systems Strengthening Project will enhance the management and governance capabilities of the state and its health facilities; expand the design and coverage of the state's health insurance program; improve the quality of health services through certification and better human resource systems, and enable efficient access to medicines and diagnostics."

The pact was signed by Rajat Kumar Mishra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India, Ramkumar S, Joint Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare on behalf of the Meghalaya government and Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, India on behalf of the World Bank.

The project will reportedly also benefit the health sector staff at both primary and secondary levels by helping them with planning and management capabilities and building their clinical skills. All of the 11 districts of Meghalaya will benefit from the project. It will also aim to enable women to better utilize healthcare services at the community level.

The Department of Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Finance said, "Strengthening and expanding health care systems is a priority for the Government of India. The Project will enhance the management and quality of health services in the state. It will also help expand the coverage of health services and make it accessible and affordable to the poor and vulnerable in the state".

According to the Finance Ministry, the project will help to build up the state's health insurance program, Megha Health Insurance Scheme's (MHIS) effectiveness. It currently covers 56% of the households.

The MHIS, which has now merged with the national Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (PMJAY), plans to offer more comprehensive package and cover 100% households. It also plans to enhance accessing hospital services and helping poor families particularly in accessing cheaper healthcare.

The project also aims to adopt a performance-based financing system where Internal Performance Agreements (IPAs) between the Department of Health and Family Welfare and its subsidiaries. It would also promote more accountability at all levels. The project will also aim to focus on promoting collaboration between various schemes an augment the capacity of the state insurance agency.  

The Ministry of Finance statement also said "The project will invest in infection prevention and control for a more resilient response to future outbreaks, pandemics, and health emergencies", adding, "The project will invest in improving the overall ecosystem for bio-medical waste management (both solid and liquid waste). It will include segregation, disinfection, and collection while safeguarding the environment and improving the quality of health service and patient safety".

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