The Ministry of Health & Wellness in collaboration with the World Bank Group seek to initiate a new pragmatic approach to healthcare.
The initiative is referred to as the Performance Based Finance (PBF) mechanism and is a major
part of Saint Lucia Health System Strengthening Project. Performance Based Finance Coordinator of the Saint Lucia Health System Strengthening Project, Nahum Jn Baptiste explains this system provides incentives or benefits to both the providers and receivers of healthcare.
“There are two sets of persons receiving incentives, one would be, let’s look at the most important person, the clients, so the clients would receive for now free laboratory testing and the person who provides the service what they would be doing, they would be receiving additional funds which they could use under agreed conditions based on their performance. So if for example, they set a target and they have achieved a target or surpassed a target we are going to reward them or provide incentives so they can use that service to enhance the services maybe to train their staff or to do other things.”
Jn Baptiste notes the aim of the initiative is to improve healthcare in Saint Lucia, to produce positive outcomes to patients and to encourage people to utilize the health services. “First of all, we want to reduce mortality from communicable diseases. In our case, we are focusing on Diabetes and Hypertension. So this would be the overall goal, to reduce mortality and also if you want consequences of diabetes and Hypertension.”
Performance Based Finance programs are prevalent in many low- and middle-income countries but the system will be new to Saint Lucia.