ADB gives grants to help boost Bhutan’s healthcare system

12 Oct 18

The Asian Development Bank has approved $20.5m in grants to support the government of Bhutan in improving the country’s health system.

 

The support includes a $14m policy-based grant and a $6m project grant, both sourced from the Asian Development Fund.

The bank will give a further $500,000 grant to support the implementation of the programme, which is expected to be completed by August 2023.

It will help Bhutan progress towards universal health coverage, as set out in one of the targets in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

ADB senior health specialist Hayman Win said: “Investing in an effective and efficient healthcare system is crucial for the pursuit of sustainable and inclusive development of countries like Bhutan.

“ADB’s assistance will help Bhutan’s health system to become more relevant to the evolving needs of the population with an increased focus on primary health care.”

The country has improved its health system in the last decade, with life expectancy at birth improving from 43 years in 1985 to 70.2 years in 2017.

But healthcare costs are still increasing and the rise in non-communicable diseases and persistent regional disparities in health outcomes are straining the current health service delivery, the bank said.

The ADB money will go towards a programme to help underserved areas of Bhutan and establish five satellite clinics on the outskirts of urban areas, upgrade existing facilities and provide medical equipment.

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