Timor-Leste’s Health System Set to Benefit from Additional $17.7 million
Dili, June 21, 2013 — The World Bank, AusAID and the European Union (EU) today pledged to continue supporting the Government of Timor-Leste to strengthen resource and operations management of its Ministry of Health, which will underpin the delivery of healthcare in rural districts, where more than 70 percent of the Timorese population live.
The “National Health Sector Strategic Plan – Support Project” aims to improve system and resource management capacities that will ultimately improve primary health care services in districts and sub-districts. This will be achieved by improving the equitable distribution of health care resources to districts; strengthening the management of pharmaceutical and medical supplies throughout the country to improve the availability of drugs at health facilities; and promoting evidence-based decision-making and health sector co-ordination.
“Australia has supported health in Timor-Leste for the last ten years and will continue our support through this project to the Ministry of Health. This project will improve health services in districts and sub-districts, by helping the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Health to get money, staff and supplies to where they are most needed,” said Mr. Miles Armitage, Ambassador to Timor-Leste.
“The Government of Timor-Leste has made a lot of progress in rebuilding its health system,” said Mr. Hans Anand Beck, Acting World Bank Country Manager for Timor-Leste.“The World Bank is committed to continue supporting the Government to improve the delivery of healthcare, to benefit all Timorese.”
“The EU is committed to supporting the Government of Timor-Leste’s healthcare delivery objectives in an effective manner in close cooperation with other development partners. Our efforts to this end are not only reflected in our support for this vital program but also in our parallel commitment to support the Ministry of Health in addressing the great challenges with which Timor-Leste is confronted in the area of nutrition”, said Mr. Dirk Meganck, Director for Asia and the Pacific – EuropeAid.
AusAID, the EU and the World Bank have supported the Ministry of Health in aligning the Health Sector Strategic Plan Support Project with the Ministry’s new strategic plan, which was launched last year.
In recent years, the World Bank and its development partners have worked with the Government to support the Ministry of Health’s community outreach services, known as the Integrated Community Health Services, or Sistema Integrado de Saúde Comunitaria (SISCa), providing monthly mobile clinics to more than 442 villages; to improve the infrastructure of health facilities like the Serviço Autónomo de Medicamentos e Equipamentos de Saúde (SAMES), and Instituto Nacional de Saúde; to provide training for healthcare workers; and to provide clinical and non-clinical equipment to healthcare facilities. This support has contributed to increasing the number of children receiving vaccination against DPT3 and measles; and increasing the percentage of births attended by qualified health personnel.
The restructured project is funded through a Multi-Donor Trust Fund of $17.7 million from AusAID and the EU, and is in addition to existing funding of $20 million from the World Bank and AusAID to support the implementation of the Health Sector Strategic Plan.