Today, the last day of the Nepalese year 2079, we held a well attended event to discuss the preliminary findings of the interdisciplinary study of the impact of federalisation on health system in the country. We invited policymakers and politicians from all three levels of government in the country to help the research team to analyse the large amount of high-quality data. This meeting helped to validate the study results and guide our future capacity building as part of this project. We were pleasantly surprised by the number who turned up and with their active engagement!
One of the interesting comments made by the participants was that this was the first time that they had met with staff from differ levels to discuss the working of the system. In fact, participants expressed that they wanted more opportunities to have this kind of discussions across all three levels of government. The researchers reported both positive and negative developments in the decentralized health system of Nepal. Positive aspects included, for example, improvements in the availability of resources for health, the construction of new health posts and hospitals, better availability of essential medicines in many places. We also commented on the positive management of COVID-19, compared to other many countries. The policymakers from local, provincial and national level largely agreed with our findings and analyses.
This stakeholders’ event is part of the Nepal Federal Health System Project, our major collaborative project examining the consequences for the health system of Nepal’s move to a federal government structure in 2015. This is a joint project (2020-2024) led by colleagues the University of Sheffield in collaboration with the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) Bournemouth University, the University of Huddersfield, with two partners in Nepal, namely Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences (MMIHS) and PHASE Nepal. This longitudinal interdisciplinary study is funded by the UK Health Systems Research Initiative [Grant ref. MR/T023554/1].
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen