Aug 19, Colombo: Recognizing Sri Lanka's need to meet the public health demands and challenges and government's efforts to improve health sector, the World Bank has granted a US$ 200 million loan to support the country's overall health sector development.
The World Bank loan will provide partial support to Sri Lanka's five-year Second Health Sector Development Programme (SHSDP) which identifies strategic activities to be implemented under the National Health Sector Development Programme (NHSDP).
The total budgetary requirement for the five year Health Sector Programme is expected to be around US$ 5.17 billion and the lending arm of the World Bank, International Development Association (IDA), will provide the US$ 200 million loan for SHSDP.
Secretary, Ministry of Finance & Planning Dr. P.B. Jayasundera and the Country Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives on behalf of IDA of World Bank Ms. Francoise Michele Clottes signed the Financing Agreement of SHSDP today.
The NHSDP covers few thematic areas such as malnutrition, prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, maternal and child health and health system improvement.
As Sri Lanka, which reports better health indicators than most developing countries, makes the transition to an upper middle income country with higher living standards, it's demographic, epidemiological and public health demands and challenges are also evolving, according to the health authorities.
The NHSDP is being implemented to address the challenges of malnutrition, rising trend of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, kidney diseases, mental health disorders and traumatic injuries and to address the demand for quality health care focusing on non-communicable diseases while giving necessary attention to communicable diseases and nutritional issues.
Accordingly, the Government has increased its health budget during the recent past reaching Rs. 92 billion in total health expenditure in 2012 from Rs. 19 billion in the year 2000.
The budgetary provision for the sector for 2013 is Rs .125 billion while almost Rs. 150 billion is projected for 2014 and will maintain over Rs. 165 billion under the Medium Term Budgetary Framework.
The disbursements of the US$ 200 million loan are expected to be released in tranches based on progress in health budget linked performance indicators (DLIs).