Achieving the ambitious goal of UHC by 2030 requires greater investments in expanding population coverage, providing access to high-quality health services and protecting against financial risk. Shortfalls in access, quality, efficiency, and equity in health care have been documented extensively throughout the world, and DCP3 is helping low- and middle-income countries accelerate progress towards UHC by providing them with guidance on priority health interventions for UHC in the form of a set of model UHC Packages.
The packages include an Essential UHC Package (EUHC), a high priority package (HPP), and an intersectoral package, which could be adapted to reflect country-specific needs, health system capacities, financing structures, available resources and other local circumstances.
The Essential UHC Package (EUHC) has 218 health interventions and is designed for lower-middle income countries. Assuming steady-state implementation by 2030, EUHC has the potential to reduce premature deaths by an estimated 4.2 million per year in lower-middle-income countries.
The highest-priority package (HPP) is composed of 108 interventions and is designed for countries in which the fiscal space for health does not allow the implementation of the full EUHC package.
The package of intersectoral policies consists of 71 interventions to be implemented in partnership with sectors other than health. Out of 71 policies, 29 are core priorities for early implementation. These intersectoral policies that promote or protect health and when implemented as part of a coherent plan, can constitute a whole-of-government approach to health. The package covers fiscal policies, regulatory policies, built infrastructure interventions, and health promotion and information interventions.
The DCP3 findings in its 9 volumes and the UHC packages support countries in their efforts to achieve full access to essential health care. DCP3 packages can be adapted to reflect local disease burden, health care needs, national financing structures and local evidence on costs.
The DCP3-UHC Country Translation work focuses primarily on four areas:
Increasing the use of DCP3 evidence and resources in LMICs
DCP3 is providing comprehensive technical support to two pilot countries in priority setting and development of UHC essential packages of health services EPHS). In the first pilot country, Pakistan, the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination (MNHSR&C) and the DCP3 Secretariat developed a national EPHS, and work is underway to begin a phased implementation of the EPHS at the district level. In the second country, Liberia, DCP3 is collaborating with the Ministry of Health and development partners in updating the existing Essential Package of Health Services.
Improving the global evidence and resources to support best practices in priority setting
DCP3 is providing technical guidance to LMICs in priority setting for UHC and developing or revising EPHS. This work brings together a broad range of partners, including the WHO, the World Bank, USAID, and others. Drawing on the experience and lessons learned from Pakistan and other countries that used DCP3 evidence in setting up their packages, the DCP3 Country Translation Secretariat is working with a network of professionals to develop a set of publications which will serve as a guidance for other low- and lower-middle-income countries in developing feasible and implementable UHC EPHS.
Strengthening the capacity of national decision makers and institutions
DCP3 is strengthening the capacity of national decision makers and institutions in Pakistan and Liberia to conduct priority setting and develop and sustain essential packages of health services. This is an essential component of the project, as ensuring capacity within pilot countries is integral to the sustainability of the EPHS.
Developing a fast-tack polio sub-package
DCP3 developed a sub-package of highest priority basic health services for polio high-risk areas in Pakistan, where lack of such services is driving community resistance to vaccination and is impeding the global eradication of polio. The sub-package is responding to the immediate health needs of the communities in these high-risk polio areas.