Translating the DCP3 Evidence in Pakistan
In 2018, reaffirming its commitment to accelerating progress towards UHC, the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (MNHSR&C) established a collaboration with the DCP3 Secretariat and the World Health Organization to develop a national Essential Package of Health Services (EPHS) based on the DCP3 evidence and guided by its model essential UHC package.
Following the decision of the Inter-ministerial Health & Population Forum, Pakistan became the first country to translate the DCP3 evidence into the development of a national Essential Package of Health Services or UHC Health Benefit package. The EPHS aims to address the current disparities and inequalities in access to health care, and establish and clarify health priorities and direct resource allocation in Pakistan. The EPHS became a cornerstone of the 12th Five Year Plan (2018-2023) Health chapter and the National Action Plan (2019-2023) for Pakistan's health sector.
Designing and costing the UHC Essential Package of Health Services, together with capacity building in the Ministry of Health and external institutions, provided valuable learning experiences moving forward. It is hoped that Pakistan’s experience in developing and implementing a national UHC EPHS is harnessed to help other low- and middle-income countries accelerate progress towards UHC by adapting the DCP3 packages to their country context, taking into account their specific epidemiological needs, health system capacity, and available financing.