With support from the USAID-funded Health Policy Project Futures Group and the Ministry of Public Health Afghanistan (MoPH) have been running a new initiative to establish the Public-Private Dialogue Forum, to engage public and private sectors in discussions on health concerns, policies and regulations, said the MoPH in a recent release.
The Forum represents development in Afghanistan’s efforts to improve healthcare for citizens, maximizing health resources and increasing access to open up opportunities to partner with private health services.
Ahmad Jan Naeem, deputy minister of policy and planning emphasized the many ways that the dialogue is helpful.
“For several years the public and private health sectors had different views and ideas, but now we [consider] each other as part of a system,” said Naeem.
Trust has formed between the sectors because of the initiated dialogue, improving coordination and serving as a venue for the private sector to provide input on investments in health.
Forum members have also helped to speed along approval of the minimum required standards for private hospitals, making progress in the ongoing development of policy and legal framework for regulations in the private sector.
Omarzaman Sayedi, team leader for the Health Policy Project in Afghanistan said that the Public-Private Dialogue Forum has provided a successful platform to bring issues to the attention of senior management, allowing them to determine how to simplify procedures and protocols.
The forum meets quarterly, offering an opportunity for leaders in the private health sector to meet with Minister of Public Health Suraya Dalil, who chairs the gatherings.
Dalil praised the forum’s role in strengthening public and private sector relations.
“I am really interested to work closely with the private health sector to strengthen the health system and do something for the patients and people of Afghanistan,” said Dalil. “I recognize the private health sector as a member and working partner of the Ministry of Public Health.”