The FINANCIAL -- WASHINGTON – The World Bank Board of Directors approved a US$ 300 million loan today to improve access to and quality of healthcare services for 3.8 million Bolivians. The goal of the project is to implement a comprehensive hospital management system through networks, complemented by training of healthcare professionals and the construction and equipping of 10 hospitals.
“The work that the World Bank does with the Government of Bolivia reflects a strategic partnership based on the shared objective of working for the country’s development. The resources from this operation will benefit more than three million Bolivians, who will have dignified access to different healthcare services. This will be manifested through the building of secondary and tertiary care hospitals, as well as through the training of specialists,” said Mariana Prado Noya, Bolivia’s minister of planning and development.
Bolivia has significantly reduced its child mortality rate and increased access to primary healthcare services. Nevertheless, other key challenges remain, which are associated with non-communicable diseases, particularly cardiovascular conditions, cancer and diabetes, among others. These diseases continue to be leading causes of death, particularly among the population living in poverty, according to The World Bank.
Primary healthcare facilities require an effective system for referring more complex cases to secondary and tertiary care facilities. The new hospitals – nine second-level and one third-level – will facilitate this.
“The project, which was designed by the Government of Bolivia with World Bank support, will increase the quality of and access to healthcare services, especially for women, children and indigenous populations. In addition to the new fully-equipped hospitals, human resource capacities will be strengthened, and clinical care standards will be applied. All of these actions will work to reduce gaps in coverage and optimize coordination of services nationwide,” said Alberto Rodríguez, World Bank Director for Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.
According to The World Bank, the project will train physicians (specialists, sub-specialists and internists), nurses, and healthcare management and administrative personnel. The project will finance professional training in the country and abroad through agreements with international educational institutions, medical residency programs, graduate study in hospital management, training in healthcare services in intercultural environments, technical assistance, and educational teams to support residency programs.
The measures to improve healthcare service quality include the development and updating of clinical care protocols, the updating and implementation of accreditation standards, and the establishment of information systems in the new hospitals that are compatible with the existing National Health Information and Epidemiological Surveillance System (SNIS).