In response to poor quality of health services and shortcomings in the health system, the MoPHP launched a comprehensive reform program in 1998. This reform strategy has twelve components:
- Decentralization of planning, decision-making, and financial management;
- Redefinition of the role of the public sector with a stronger emphasis on policy, regulation, and public health, and the establishment of limits on its role as service provider;
- A district health system approach;
- Community co-management of local health systems;
- Cost sharing by patients, with provisions for exemptions for poor patients;
- Essential drugs policy, and realignment of the logistics system for drugs and medical supplies (with formation of a semi-autonomous Drug (and Medical Supplies) Fund);
- Decentralized, outcomes-based management system from the central to the community level;
- Hospital autonomy and eventual basic health facility autonomy;
- Encouragement of responsible participation by the private sector and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) through appropriate policy design regulation;
- Inter-sectoral cooperation since the determinants of health do not solely lie in the sector;
- Promotion of innovation in service provision which would eventually lead to more effective and efficient use of resources; and
- Sector wide approach (SWap) where the Ministry and its development partners coordinate their work within a mutually agreed upon framework.
Recent reviews of progress in the health sector reform program and improvements in the health of the population revealed that much work is left to do. In an effort to better support the Health Reform Strategy and to give special emphasis to reproductive health, the Ministry has recently reorganized to better represent and focus on: primary health care, curative services, health planning and development and population.
I would like to thank the donor community for their generous support to Yemen's health sector, and we look forward to continued collaboration and positive impacts in improving the overall health indicators.