Ethiopia has been implementing Health Sector Development Program (HSDP) since 1997/8 (1990 EFY). The first phase of HSDP was completed in 2002 (1994 EFY) and the second completed in June 2005 (1997 EFY). Currently, the third phase of HSDP, which covers a period of five years i.e. July 2005 to June 2010, is being implemented.
The Government of Ethiopia is committed to democracy and empowerment of the people. Decentralization has been used as an important instrument for the full realization of the rights and powers of the diversified population. The health policy has also emanated from commitment to democracy and gives strong emphasis to the fulfillment of the needs of the less privileged rural population.
Arguably, the most significant policy influencing HSDP design and implementation is the policy on decentralization. This is well articulated within the constitution and in a number of major and supplementary proclamations, and provides the administrative context in which health sector activities take place.
Important steps have been taken in the decentralization of the health care system. Decision-making processes in the development and implementation of the health system are shared between the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), the Regional Health Bureaus (RHBs) and the Woreda Health Offices. As a result of recent policy measures taken by the Government, the FMOH and the RHBs are made to function more on policy matters and technical support, while the woreda health offices have been made to play the pivotal roles of managing and coordinating the operation of the primary health care services at the woreda levels.
The Health Sector has recently introduced an innovative health service delivery system through the implementation of the Health Service Extension Program (HSEP). Accelerated Expansion of Primary Health Services strategy has also been endorsed as part of facilitating the implementation of the HSEP.
As our country crosses the threshold of the new millennium, the healthcare system in Ethiopia is ramping up to meet the needs of the people of Ethiopia. We hope that we shall all be able to establish an effective and efficient health system that will serve our people and enhance their health and happiness in the near future.