The genesis of the five-year strategic health planning in Nepal is traced back to 2003 when the Council of Ministers endorsed the Health Sector Strategy: An Agenda for Reform. It was endorsed against the backdrop of Nepal's commitments on delivering Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Guided by both the National Health Policy of 1991 and Second Long Term Health Plan 1997-2017 (SLTHP), the strategy put in place the first Nepal Health Sector Programme (NHSP I) as its implementation plan for the period 2005-2010. The second sector programme for the period 2010-2015 (NHSP II) was largely seen as an extension of the previous one, albeit with greater emphasis on decentralized service delivery and equitable access to essential health care services.
In contrast to the previous sector programmes, Nepal Health Sector Strategy 2015-2020 (NHSS) stands as the sector strategy on its own. Owing to the changed socio-political milieu, shifting paradigm in both local and global health agenda, and as an embodiment of National Health Policy 2014 (NHP-2014), the Council of Ministers endorsed NHSS in June 2015 as the strategy to guide the health sector for the next five years.