Govt guarantees quality services under UHC initiative

THE government has expressed its commitment in improving provision of quality health services in its facilities across the country as part of its strategies to ensure successful implementation of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) programme.

The government commitment comes a few days before the bill comes for the second and third reading in the Parliamentary meeting which commences on Tuesday next week.

Minister for Health Ms Ummy Mwalimu said that in order for the UHC to be meaningful the government will ensure reliable access to health services for all Tanzanians.

Speaking yesterday in Dar es Salaam during the opening of the meeting for religious leaders Ms Mwalimu said that the government will continue instituting deliberate measures to ensure UHC is in line with provision of quality healthcare services.

The clerics’ meeting organised by the Ministry of Health was aimed at discussing the importance of UHC scheme in relieving Tanzanians from the burden of shouldering high health bills.

“The government will continue to take deliberate measures to improve and strengthen health services to ensure that the concept of UHC is compatible with access to quality services for Tanzanians,” she insisted.

Ms Mwalimu further said President Samia Suluhu Hassan has been disbursing about 20 bn/- every month for improving health services, particularly in availing medicines to health facilities across the country.

She said Regional Medical Officers (RMOs) have the responsibility to ensure medicines and health equipment are availed to health facilities for better services.

She further instructed all Regional Medical Officers (RMOs) countrywide to carry out assessment of all medical equipment needed in their respective hospitals.

Regarding the UHC, the minister explained various reasons that prompted the government to come up with the UHC bill including relieving Tanzanians from the burden of digging deep into their pockets to foot medical bills.

She added that some people have been failing to meet their medical expenses for Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, causing families to become poor as most of them are forced to sell their properties to pay for medical bills.

“The government’s mission is to ensure that all Tanzanians, regardless of their income, have access to quality health services without hindrance,” the minister added.

Referring to the meeting held recently between the minister and editors from various media houses, the Director of Information Services and Chief Government Spokesperson Gerson Msigwa said journalists are ready to join the clerics in raising awareness on the importance of UHC.

Mr Msigwa also added that both editors and journalists are ready to wage a special campaign to educate the public about the significance of the scheme.

For his part, the representative from the Council of Pentecostal Churches Tanzania (CPCT), Pastor Ezra Masanya said the church recognises government’s efforts in improving health services, stressing that the UHC has come at the right time.

He said UHC will provide relief to low income earners in the country.

On the other hand, Father Dr Paul Chobo from Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) said that TEC is ready to cooperate with the government to attain the UHC objectives.

Representing the Mufti of Tanzania and on behalf of the Tanzania Muslim Council (BAKWATA), Sheikh Hassan Chizenga said the UHC serves as best strategy   to improve the health of all wananchi without discrimination.

“BAKWATA will support these government efforts and we believe this discussion will also improve the UHC bill and finally have the best law in place to serve all Tanzanians,” he said.

 

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