Pakistan becomes first in world to adopt 'Disease Control Priorities 3'

07:12 PM | 25 Nov, 2019
Pakistan becomes first in world to adopt 'Disease Control Priorities 3'

ISLAMABAD - Special Advisor to Prime Minister(SAPM) on National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination Dr. Zafar Mirza said on Monday that Pakistan had become the first country in the world to adopt Disease Control Priorities 3 (DCP3), Development of a Universal Health Coverage- Benefit Package.

The SAPM expressed these views while addressing the inaugural session held under the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHSR&C) in partnership with the Provincial/area Departments of Health, the Disease Control Priorities 3 Secretariat at London school of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), WHO and other partners, said a press release.

A national discourse for the development and implementation of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) benefit package started here to review localized scientific evidence on cost effectiveness and burden of diseases in Pakistan and using the information to prioritize health interventions for essential health services.

Dr. Zafar Mirza, said 'Pakistan was the first country in the world to use localized evidence on Disease Control Priorities 3 and Burden of Disease to develop an essential package of health services/ UHC benefit package of Pakistan.

He said that the achievement of this milestone and implementation of the package in future would help the country in improving health outcomes and making speedy progress towards UHC.

Representative of the DCP3 secretariat, Dr. Ala Alwan mentioned that there were inequities in access to health care in Pakistan along with insufficient implementation of long-term strategic planning for the health workforce, inadequate national capacity in key areas such as public health and family medicine, inadequate access to essential technologies and medicines, a large, unexploited and unregulated private health sector and fragmented health information systems.

She said "We are working with the government of Pakistan to address these gaps along with evidence-based strategic work for the development of the essential package of health services and inter-sectoral interventions.'

Professor Anna Vassal from the LSHTM said, 'Based on disease burden in Pakistan and considering the cost-effectiveness of different health interventions, scientific tools are being used to produce a health package at different levels of health care delivery system in Pakistan."

The government in Pakistan could optimise the health package by adjusting total budget, financial risk protection and equity weight, She added.

Presenting the draft essential package of health services, Dr. Assad Hafeez, Director General (Health) informed the audience that adequate evidence and research for defining essential health services, followed by effective implementation of the services to all people was the best solution for the effective functioning of the health system in Pakistan and delivering UHC results.

He said that the approach would be piloted through a model health care system in ICT for universal health care and a pre-pilot had already been launched at Shah Allah Ditta Community Health Centre in the suburbs of Islamabad.

Representatives of the provincial/area departments of health and other stakeholders appreciated the efforts of the ministry of not only bringing all provinces, federating areas and stakeholders to the same table but also setting a comprehensive strategic direction through an inclusive consultative process. They committed that this would become a starting point for effective delivery of essential health services at different levels of healthcare delivery.