Review of Den Sooluk health sector reform notes improved health outcomes and coordination in Kyrgyzstan

An assessment of the Den Sooluk National Health Reform Program in Kyrgyzstan concluded that significant progress was made in 2016. Positive trends in health outcomes were observed, important Den Sooluk milestones achieved, policy dialogues enhanced and the review process and donor coordination improved during the year.

The review also looked at new initiatives in 2016 including the development of a master plan for hospitals to be compliant with the best international practices and standards, opportunities for public–private partnership in the health sector, introduction of incentives for regional health coordinators to improve coordination, and a new budget law governing the Mandatory Health Insurance Fund under the Government of Kyrgyzstan.

The assessment was jointly conducted by the Ministry of Health and development partners during 10–14 April 2017 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

The implementation of the Den Sooluk programme, as well as its predecessor Manas Taalimi, relies on a sector-wide approach. Under this principle, the Ministry of Health leads the national reforms and development partners support the programme with a single monitoring framework and through a dialogue mechanism where all major stakeholders in the sector meet to discuss progress on the strategy.

For the implementation of the Den Sooluk programme, WHO offers extended policy advice and technical support to the Ministry of Health through its teams of experts on various priority topics such as cardiovascular diseases, individual service delivery and quality of health care, public health, health financing, access to medicines, laboratory services, health policy and aid effectiveness for universal health coverage (UHC).

In 2017, the priorities for the Den Sooluk programme are to plan for the remaining two years, monitor actions and results, and distil lessons to inform future strategy. These activities run against the background of global processes such as changes in external financing, focus on efficiency of domestic resources and structuring development aid to catalyse efficient use of domestic resources towards UHC, as well the national processes of adaptation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the development of the Kyrgyz National Strategy for Sustainable Development until 2040.

Support for the Den Sooluk programme is among the activities envisaged under the biennial collaborative agreement between the WHO Regional Office for Europe and Kyrgyzstan. The programme is financially supported by the WHO and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation project “Strengthening monitoring and evaluation and policy dialogue for Den Sooluk”, WHO and a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation strategic grant.