Dominica’s regulatory framework for health is out of date and does not take into account the challenges faced by the current health system.

That’s according to an assessment conducted on the country’s health system and private sector.

The report, officially released to the media on Thursday, points out that while private health facility inspection is mandated, it is  not enforced, and civil society organizations play a minor role in bringing constituent concerns to the attention of policy makers.

The report which was funded by USAID is recommending that the country’s Medical and Nursing Acts be updated, as well as the passing of a Pharmacy Act for Dominica.

“Use the building of a new hospital to rationalize management and quality assurance structures, strengthen and enforce health facility standards, develop standard guidelines for all health facilities in Dominica and develop a formal system for engaging clients and responding to feedback,” were some of the other recommendations highlighted by Sarah Subbach, Dominica’s Assessment Team Leader.

In terms of health financing, the assessment found that broad fee exemptions are weak and the Ministry of Health urgently needs data that links health spending, utilization and outcomes to support evidenced based planning and budgeting.

“The recommendations are that government conduct National Health Accounts estimation and build local capacity of the Ministry of Health to replicate the exercise, estimate the unit cost on public and private sector health services to assist policymakers in routine evidence-based planning and to inform new health financing policies,” Subbach said.