Health experts have highlighted Performance Based Financing (PBF) as a key initiative that has contributed to improved public health in the country.
PBF or ‘Pay-4-Performance’is an approach to health financing that has seen medical practitioners receive financial rewards based on their performance.
During a meeting held yesterday to assess the impact of PBF over the last five years, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Uzziel Ndagijimana observed that with the help of health partners, Rwanda had managed to strengthen the health sector by implementing evidence based interventions to achieve the millennium development goals.
“Rwanda has benefited from a pioneering independent study on PBF that looks at specific impacts of incentives given through community performance based financing on the use of maternal and child health services,” Ndagijimana said.
The head of Maternal and Child Health Division in the Ministry, Dr. Fidele Ngabo, said that since PBF was introduced in 2005, the performance of health practitioners had highly improved and registered a positive impact on public health.
“Before 2005, 103 out of 1,000 children under the age of one year were dying of preventable diseases; but with the introduction of PBF, the figures have tremendously gone down. By 2010, only 50 children were dying annually,” said Dr Ngabo.
He added that the under-five mortality rate dropped from 156 per 1000 children in 2005 to 70 per 1,000 children in 2010.
PBF is channelled to institutions to boost particular sectors within the health system. A case in point is where a health centre is entitled to an incentive of Rwf 2,500 for each mother giving birth from that particular facility and Rwf 1,000 for each child immunised.
This encourages health professionals to sensitise parents to give birth from hospitals and immunise their children, which ultimately leads to improved public health.