World Bank loans Tamil Nadu US$287m for healthcare reform

The Tamil Nadu Health System Reform Programme will support the state with development of clinical protocols and guidelines; accreditation for primary, secondary, and tertiary-level public health facilities; and medical training of physicians, nurses and paramedics

June 4, 2019

Tamil Nadu, the 2nd largest state in terms of GSDP ranks 3rd in the NITI Aayog Health Index, led by improved health outcomes

The project contributes to Sustainable Development Goal 3 and the Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice goal of the UHC

Tamil Nadu’s maternal mortality rate has dropped from 90 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2005 to 62 deaths in 2015-16

Certain challenges in healthcare remain, including quality of care and variations in reproductive and child health in some districts

India’s Central Government, the State Government of Tamil Nadu and the World Bank on June 4 signed a US$287 million loan deal to strengthen the Tamil Nadu Health System Reform Programme. The initiative aims to improve the quality of healthcare, reduce the spread of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and fill equity gaps in reproductive and child health services in Tamil Nadu. The second largest state in terms of GSDP ranks third in the NITI Aayog Health Index, led by improved health outcomes. The programme contributes to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 and the Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice goal of ending preventable deaths and disability through the Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Owing to the project, Tamil Nadu’s maternal mortality rate has declined from 90 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2005 to 62 deaths in 2015-16, while infant mortality has declined from 30 deaths per 1000 live births to 20 in the same period. This has been achieved with the establishment of emergency obstetric and neonatal care centres, as well as the 108 ambulance service with previous support from the World Bank. These have ensured that no mother travels more than 30 minutes to access emergency obstetric and neonatal care throughout the year. However, despite the progress, certain challenges in healthcare remain, including quality of care and variations in reproductive and child health among state districts.

Meanwhile, NCDs have emerged as a concern for the state, where it accounts for nearly 69 per cent of deaths. Herein, the programme will promote population-based screening, treatment, and follow-up for NCDs, and improve monitoring and evaluation. On a broader scale, the initiative will address a variety of issues, ranging from mental health to road injuries. The Tamil Nadu Health System Reform Programme will support the state government with – development of clinical protocols and guidelines; accreditation for primary, secondary, and tertiary-level public health facilities; medical training of physicians, nurses and paramedics; and feedback mechanism between citizens and the state through liberalisation of data.

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