April 20, 2015 (SLENA) – The Ministry of Health and Sanitation Directorate of Health Systems, Planning, Policy and Information has concluded its Regional Dissemination of the Performance-Based Financing (PBF) External Validation Report.
The activity which attracted District Medical Officers, Monitoring and Evaluation Officers, Councilors, District Health Sisters and Civil Society groups among other stakeholders ended at the Makeni Midwifery School at Masuba with discussion on district specific findings and recommendations from the external verification of the PBF scheme.
The meeting also dilated on the introduction of the new PBF Plus Scheme.
Making his presentation, the Manager Health System Strengthening, Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Tom Sesay described the PBF Plus as an improved version of the previous one, moving from six indicators to 20 indicators.
Bombali district he said has been chosen for the Pilot Phase, to be replicated in other parts of the country if successfully implemented.
He noted the disruption on the laid structure, adding that the focus is to bring in indicators to overcome the challenges, taking into account Infection Prevention Control, Surveillance and other specifics.
The Economist attached to the Local Government Finance Unit, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Nicky Kamara told his audience that the selection of the Bombali district to pilot the project is appropriate and not a mistake, adding that if the pilot scheme become successful the World Bank and the Government of Sierra Leone would give the desired support before the commencement of the project in June 2015.
He highlighted the delay in the area of collation and submission of data as a challenge, District Health Management Teams constraints to carryout outreach services and supportive supervision, lapses within Commercial Banks to their clients; as a result moneys do not reach beneficiaries on time.
“The Population is now looking at Bombali to successfully pilot the project for posterity”, opined Mr. Kamara.
Why PBF Plus? In the PBF Plus approach, a full separation of functions will be employed, and will create a clear division of labour, contribute to transparency through the performance of accurate record keeping, linking pay-for-performance to accurate records, auditing the performance rigorously involving non-state actors at all level in the health system.
Through the PBF Plus health workers pay role will be cleaned up automatically as part of the quarterly quality verification through strengthening of local accountability and oversight mechanisms, coupled with formative supervision and intense monitoring of results. One fundamental thing about the PBF Plus is that the voice of the community is a key building block for client satisfaction, surveys as well as assuring community involvement in health facility management teams and district PBF committees. The PBF Plus will also complement the National Pharmaceutical Procurement Unit (NPPU) through supporting the full system of drug and medical supplies.
Other highlights of the programme include presentation on the expected outcomes of the dissemination by Mr. Alhassan Fouard Kanu, contributions by participants and group work.