4. Paying for services
Adequate funding for health is important to manage the excess demands on the health system. This section considers how countries are PAYING FOR COVID-19 SERVICES. Health financing describes how much is spent on health and the distribution of health spending across different service areas. The section also describes who is covered for COVID-19 testing and treatment, whether there are any notable gaps (in population coverage and service coverage), and how much people pay (if at all) for those services out-of-pocket.
4.1 Health financing
Additional budgetary funds have been allocated to health, amounting to USD 25 million (Decision of the Council of Ministers No. 205 of 9 March 2020: "On an additional fund in the 2020 budget approved for the Ministry of Health and Social Protection to take measures to meet the initial needs because of COVID - 19"). The funding follows the “usual” channels. It is intended to be used mainly for medical supplies and staff.
Measures to expedite the procurement of critical medical supplies include:
• Decision of the Council of Ministers No. 243 of 24 March 2020: "On the declaration of the state of natural disaster"
• Decision of the Council of Ministers No. 203 of 26 February 2020: "On the procedures used for concluding contracts that are dictated by the essential interests of the state"; Decision of the Council of Ministers No. 242 of 22 March 2020: “On some additions to Decision of the Council of Ministers No. 203 of 26 February 2020”
There have been no notable changes in the distribution of health spending across different types of care.
The Government has negotiated postponing the implementation of some concession contracts, such as the Health Check-up Programme and Hospital Laboratory Services.
There are payment incentives to health workers looking after COVID-19 patients (see Section 2.2 on the Workforce).
Development partners and donors have been convened, coordinated by UN Resident Coordinator Office and WHO, for raising funds and respond to the needs of the country in facing COVID-19. They have supported the health sector in the country through the procurement of needed items (PPE, ventilators, other medical devices, etc.).