ACCESS Health International recently concluded a dip stick study to assess the public financial management system in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. ACCESS Health was commissioned by the World Health Organization’s India Country Office to undertake the study over a period of three months. The findings of this study were presented in a report titled, “Assessment of Bottlenecks in Public Financial Management in Jammu & Kashmir.” The report can be accessed on the WHO website.

Realizing the potential to better mobilise resources to improve the health and wellbeing of its citizens and to enhance the value for the money spent by it, the Government requested the WHO Country Office in India to provide technical support to assess its public financial management system. ACCESS Health International was commissioned to undertake a dip-stick study for the same. Apart from presenting the findings of this study, the report discusses the issues and challenges as understood through interactions with the Finance and Health Department Officials, and provides some short term, medium term and long term recommendations that could help the Union Territory in its journey toward achieving universal health coverage.

The study followed a Quantitative-Qualitative design and included collecting primary and secondary information from the UTs Health Directorate, State Health Society, and other health financing entities. Secondary data was collected to understand the expenditure trends and utilisation patterns to know the absorptive capacity of the UT of Jammu & Kashmir. The study also looked at the policies adopted by the Health and Finance sectors to provide good healthcare services to achieve universal health coverage.

The key components of this assessment include (i) review of literature, (ii) financial resource tracking, (iii) data analysis for understanding resource utilisation and (iv) bottleneck analysis (through stakeholder interviews) for identifying systemic bottlenecks leading to inefficiencies in resource utilisation, macro-level reasons thereof, and suggestions for enhancing the public financial management system. The assessment was conducted using a bottleneck assessment tool jointly developed by the study team and WHO Country Office for India. The study team from ACCESS Health International included Mr Maulik Chokshi, Mr Tushar Mokashi, Mr Arun Nair, Mr Rajeev Prasad and Ms Sawan Sharma.

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