In the third visit by the Ministry of Health of Sri Lanka to NICE and NHS partner organisations, a delegation consisting of senior policymakers and clinical experts learned about the processes of developing and implementing NICE guidance and quality standards. Having achieved great success toward achieving universal access to healthcare, the Ministry of Health Sri Lanka is now prioritising quality improvement and quality assurance in reproductive health. The delegation was particularly interested to learn of NICE International’s recent partnership with the Department of Health, Kerala (India) to develop quality standards in maternal care.
The delegation commented “This was very well organised to achieve the set objectives of the programme. It will enable us to implement the standards that are already in existence and also to support development of new standards and guidelines.”
During the second of two visits to NICE a group of senior government officials from the Ministry of health of Sri Lanka and the provincial health authorities’ took part in discussions about NICE and its role in the new NHS, prevention, primary care and commissioning and visits to a GP practice
NICE is committed to working closely with the Sri Lankan government. Both our countries have universal healthcare systems that share the values of equity, efficiency and quality. Working together we can improve health outcomes, enhance affordability and sustain equitable access for both our populations.
Both sides agreed to build on the recent visits and strengthen our institutional partnership given the similar challenges faced by our countries, who are both committed to a National Health Service offering access to all those in need.
- Sri Lankan Ministry of Health visit – June agenda
- Sri Lankan Ministry of Health visit – June delegate list
The first Sri Lankan delegation, led by the Secretary Dr. Yaddehige Don Nihal Jayathilaka spent 3.5 days in London for a study tour at NICE as well as a number of other organisations involved in health policy in the British NHS, including MHRA and Whipps Cross teaching Hospital. The visit was supported by the Government of Sri Lanka in the context of a World Bank loan and is the first of two to be hosted by NICE.
The Secretary, in summing up his and his team’s experience at NICE, highlighted the following areas as key priorities to be considered by the Sri Lankan Ministry:
- 1. Establish a strong, GP-led primary care system across the country
- 2. Develop and implement a strategy for patient and public involvement in decision making, starting with a public forum and better understanding patient perspectives
- 3. Enact measures for ensuring evidence-informed prescribing across the country
- 4. Introduce health economics in the Ministry of Health and consider the QALY as a measure of outcome when making decisions
- 5. Introduce evidence-informed guidelines and protocols and work towards guideline implementation, with the support of professional leadership in key disease areas
- 6. Introduce a high level standing committee for reviewing and approving guidelines and health technology assessments that inform policy
- 7. Consider the role of evidence of effectiveness in the pricing of pharmaceuticals
The delegation included, in addition to the Secretary, division heads, including the Chief Finance Office, head of public health, pharmaceutical policy, medical services as well as several regional and provincial health directors. Under the leadership of the Secretary an implementation team will be formed to take steps towards the implementation of the above priorities in the Sri Lankan system.