Dominican Republic to increase efficiency and effectiveness of public health spending

Loan for $146 million for maternal and child health will benefit the most vulnerable

The Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance will receive a loan for $146 million from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to fund a program to strengthen health services management.

The program will expand five of the country’s nine regional health services, which serve 45.6 percent of the Dominican population. The nearly 1.5 million beneficiaries represent 45.9 percent of the country’s people living in extreme or moderate poverty. 

The program will finance the expansion of maternal and child centers of excellence in six hospitals where more than a third of the country’s births take place. The ministry will also be strengthened to expand results-based financing in the National Health Insurance system through the development of monitoring and evaluation tools for decision-making. 

Other program activities are to update licensing standards and guidelines for health facilities, create a unit for the analysis of performance monitoring and evaluation within the health ministry, and design and implement national standards for health care information systems. 

It is expected that the project will result in a 30 percent reduction in maternal and infant mortality in hospitals with centers of maternal and child centers of excellence, and a 60 percent increase in the number of children between 15 and 24 months with full immunization. 

The IDB loan is for a term of 18 years, a grace period of 11.5 years, and an interest rate based on LIBOR.