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Equitable Services Priority in Burundi's Health Reform

Equitable Services Priority in Burundi's Health Reform

$150,000 grant helps build capacity to oversee new financing system

Burundi’s health sector is undergoing major reform under a new “free health care” policy, which in 2010 meant the start of a new results-based financing system.

For the first time, all public and some private health facilities receive payments based on results for certain services such as immunizations and deliveries. Reported levels of services must be verified by independent verification teams before payments can be made.

The Burundi government has shown strong ownership of the program by committing $31 million of government funds over three years. The International Development Association committed $25 million, making it the second-largest donor to the program.

Although still quite new, the program seems to have started well, with most facilities getting paid on time and no major problems being reported.

A Poverty and Social Impact Analysis (PSIA) funded through a $150,000 grant from the PSIA Multi-Donor Trust Fund provided technical assistance for distributional analysis to guide policy decisions. This assistance will also help build the capacity of the National Technical Cell that will oversee the results-based financing system.

Several data sources are available, including a 2009 survey of 8,234 household that will be repeated in 2012, as well as other surveys. This data will allow for rigorous distributional analysis of changes in health care utilization in different population sub groups.

If the research shows that better-off population groups are benefitting more than others, the program can be tweaked to enhance equity.

Implementation of the program is well under way and most of the funding has been allocated to fiscal year 2012 and beyond, taking into account that some data will not be available until the following fiscal year.

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Last updated: 2012-02-24

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