Primary Health Care Strengthening Project in Azerbaijan

Primary Health Care Strengthening Project was implemented during the period of September 2005- September 2007 by a consortium of organizations led by International Medical Corps (IMC) in cooperation with Abt Associates Inc., Curatio International Foundation, and the John Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Communication Programs. The PHC Strengthening Project provided technical assistance to the Government of Azerbaijan (GoAZ) in a collaborative effort to strengthen the country’s primary healthcare system.

The project consisted of four components:

Creating a policy and legal framework that defines primary healthcare and the primary health delivery system;
Increasing public expenditures for the improved health allocation for primary healthcare;
Improving quality of primary healthcare services;
Promoting the idea of personal responsibility for one’s health among individuals and families.
The general objectives of the project were:

Establishing current referral and utilization patterns for the most common health conditions in the population;
Estimating household health expenditures to adjust the findings of quarterly Household Budget Survey (HBS) that was implemented by the State Committee on Statistics (SCS);
Obtaining baseline and impact indicators to monitor and evaluate reforms implemented in PHC (in pilot regions) and in Health Care Financing;
Developing instruments and obtaining primary data (at least for one pilot district) for mapping health utilization and elaborating health system Master Plan in pilot districts;
Providing Government of Azerbaijan with the critical information about population’s self-reported health status and health care utilization, with the purpose of helping the government to formulate or adjust state policies.
The Project concentrated on assisting the GoAZ in the development of major changes in nationwide health policy and financing. Simultaneously, the Project tested critical interventions at the level of individual facilities and communities in selected districts that served as pilot demonstration sites. The Project activities, both on national and district levels, were closely coordinated with the World Bank Project in Health Sector (Health II). Agreement was reached on focusing the Project’s pilot efforts to demonstrate the new PHC financing and organizational models in those pilot districts that were targeted by the World Bank Project. The latter envisions the rationalization of health infrastructure and optimization of human resources in pilot districts as a necessary precondition for significant investments required for modernizing health care delivery system in these districts. Respectively, the Baseline Study envisioned under the Project served as (a) baseline for anticipated World Bank Project interventions and (b) primary data source for health care delivery system rationalization planning (master planning) exercise.