Strengthening health-care quality assurance in Belarus: health professionals and policy-makers visit Kazakhstan

WHO

A strong primary health care system operates and drives the process of continuous quality improvement across all levels of care

The health-care system in Belarus is renewing its focus on quality of care, revitalized by the strong commitment to the pursuit of universal health coverage in the context of the national Sustainable Development Goals agenda. While making good progress on the development and implementation of a national strategy for quality assurance, Belarus is actively collaborating with WHO on a range of relevant issues, including capacity-building and sharing international evidence and best practices on quality of care. The latest such activity was a study visit to Kazakhstan on 10–12 July 2019.

Kazakhstan is a recognized champion in health-care quality assurance among countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Pioneer regions Nur-Sultan and Karaganda have introduced new health information systems that can be used to monitor and improve quality of care with the overarching aim of making health-care services more accessible, safe and responsive to the population needs.

The delegation of health professionals and policy-makers from Belarus, headed by the First Deputy Minister of Health Dr Dmitry Pinevich, visited the 2 regions to witness first-hand the implementation of the new health information systems.

“Our countries face similar challenges and are equally committed to addressing them in the name of population health. There are plenty of best practice examples we can learn from each other and this constitutes a solid foundation for fruitful collaboration,” commented Dr Pinevich.

The participants visited a wide range of facilities and met with all levels of actors, from regional authorities to front-line health-care providers. These activities gave the delegation the opportunity to see how a stronger primary health-care system operates and drives the process of continuous quality improvement by ensuring that learning loops are established in health facilities and professional development. These visits also gave members of the Belarusian delegation examples of practical tools for developing and maintaining an effective quality assurance system, based on actual needs and determinants of health and aimed at improving public health and patient satisfaction.

Promoting universal health coverage

The visit was organized in the context of implementation of the worldwide initiative to promote universal health coverage, funded by the Government of Japan and other donors. Under this framework, WHO collaborates with the Ministry of Health of Belarus in the following areas:

  • reviewing the current status of health-care quality in Belarus to provide a basis for discussing the national health-care quality strategy;
  • building the capacity of national stakeholders and policy-makers working on health-care quality to support the development of the national strategy;
  • organizing policy dialogues and consensus-building activities among key national stakeholders and policy-makers on the main dimensions of quality-of-care improvement to catalyse the development of the national strategy;
  • facilitating the development and implementation of the national strategy.