The Health Policy Project has ended, but work continues under a new USAID five-year project, Health Policy Plus (HP+).
NEWS & VIEWS
November 22, 2015
The approval of financial regulations aimed to increased transparency in Guatemala in 2008 prevented the Ministry of Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS) from procuring essential commodities, such as vaccines, ARVs, contraceptives, micronutrients, and surgical supplies, from cost-saving international sources. These regulations forced the ministry to pay up to 300% more for commodities of lesser quality for two years. Based on work started in 2010, the HEPP-supported reproductive health watchdog (OSAR) and National Contraceptive Security Commission (CNAA) successfully advocated for annual interim exceptions to these regulations from 2011 through 2014.
In 2013, HEPP supported legal and policy analyses to determine how to best enact permanent change to the restrictive regulations. HEPP used these findings to further support OSAR and MSPAS representatives on a congressional working group charged with recommending procurement contracting reform. The group submitted its recommendations to Congress in 2014. In mid-November 2015, Congress finally approved regulations that allow the MSPAS to directly procure a wide range of commodities from regional and international suppliers. These changes contribute to the sustainability of family planning programs, since they allow the government to make significant savings. For example, sourcing a year’s supply of depo provera from UNFPA could save over $1.7 million.
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