On June 16, the research consortium invited the key stakeholders of the SHPI Phase II project to a dissemination workshop of three new policy briefs. The workshop took place online and was a great opportunity for the research team members to present some insights on both the provider as well as the beneficiary side which are relevant for the implementation of the OPD insurance scheme, scheduled to start soon.
Dr. Khalid Rehman from KMU officially welcomed the guests, followed by an introductory talk by Prof. Dr. Andreas Landmann. The primary focus of the dissemination workshop was on three important policy briefs: evaluation of public provider readiness, assessment of private provider readiness, and analysis of OPD utilization, population preferences, and out-of-pocket expenditure for chronic diseases.
The provider panel group conducted comprehensive research to assess the preparedness of both public and private healthcare facilities to deliver essential healthcare services. Based on the findings, public primary healthcare facilities usually have adequate infrastructure, but there is no guarantee of access to both male and female providers in every facility. Findings on private healthcare providers are similar. The private providers do have adequate infrastructure to provide primary healthcare services, but the non-availability of female practitioners in every healthcare facility is also true for private providers. It was recommended to prioritize the empanelment of multi-practitioner facilities that offer a comprehensive range of healthcare services. It was also advised that local authorities should allocate resources and invest in supply channels to enhance the provision of essential drugs in those facilities.
The population panel group presented the policy brief based on data collected during the third wave of the population panel (https://blogs.fau.de/inspirepakistan/2023/03/13/german-team-in-pakistan-and-preparation-of-wave-3-of-the-population-panel/)
They shed light onto the preferences of the potential beneficiaries in terms of healthcare facilities for OPD services. According to their findings, there is a strong preference for public secondary/tertiary healthcare facilities among the sampled households. More than 80% of the sampled households reported having a public secondary facility as their preferred facility for OPD care. Furthermore, the policy brief also contains findings about the prevalence of chronic diseases among potential beneficiaries. More than half of the sampled households reported having at least one member suffering from a chronic disease, most frequently hypertension, diabetes, and heart related diseases. To enhance social health protection effectively, is the research team recommends that the OPD scheme should prioritize the specific needs of individuals with chronic diseases, e.g. frequent need for care and regular medication expenditures.
The key stakeholders were very interested in the findings, asked several questions and communicated their reflections. They also put forward specific requests to advance certain topics particularly relevant for the upcoming pilot scheme implementations. They expressed their interest in receiving further evidence-based recommendations in the future. The research team reassured the stakeholders that communication channels keep open and further investigations can be carried out and more detailed insights can be provided whenever the need arises.