A Basic Package of Health Services for Afghanistan (BPHS)
(2005; 78 pages)


Since the creation of the BPHS in 2003, the MOPH has seen many positive changes in the health system. Most notable has been the expansion of access to BPHS services to 77% of the population, which has been made possible through the clear direction and priorities provided by the BPHS 2003.

The BPHS is the foundation of the Afghan health system and has been the key instrument in its development. The BPHS clearly delineates the services that should be provided by each type of primary health care (PHC) facility in the Afghan health system—health posts, basic health centers, comprehensive health centers and district hospitals—and specifies the staff, equipment, diagnostic services, and medications required to provide those services. In essence, the BPHS is the basis for the primary health care system of our country and establishes its standards.

Recently the MOPH has also developed the Essential Package of Hospital Services (EPHS), which is modeled upon and complements the BPHS. These two documents, the BPHS 2005/1384 and the EPHS together define the Afghan health system’s entire referral system, from the health post at the village level to tertiary care in the major urban centers. Figure 1 in this document illustrates the vital role the district hospital plays by serving as a link between the BPHS and EPHS. The ultimate purpose for the development of the EPHS has been to improve the quality of hospital services provided to the population of Afghanistan.

These two documents, the BPHS and the EPHS, define the key elements of the health system being built by the Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health. They illustrate where basic primary care and hospital services are provided and delineate the hospital referral system necessary to support the BPHS. Afghanistan is building a health system based upon primary health services addressing our country’s major health problems and supported by our hospital system, as represented in the EPHS.

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