Govt saves 31bn/- for treating heart patients within the country

THE government has saved over 31bn/- in the 2022/23 financial year after treating cardiac patients at the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI) instead of referring them abroad.

Speaking with journalists in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday, JKCI Director Dr Peter Kisenge said during the year, the institute treated 2,760 patients at a cost of 31bn/- but if they were treated abroad it could have cost the government a whopping 62bn/-.

“The cost of treating these 2,760 patients whereby we performed major and minor heart surgeries if were performed abroad, it could have cost 62.3bn/-, but it had cost only 31bn/- treating them within the country through health insurances, patients’ personal payments, donors, and through medical exemptions,” he explained.

Dr Kisenge attributed the success to efforts by the sixth phase government led by President Samia Suluhu Hassan, whereby JKCI received 44.5bn/- for the 2022/23 fiscal year, the money which was used to carry out a number of development and cardiac treatment-related activities.

Dr Kisenge revealed that the institute served a total of 122,362 patients, of whom 111,542 were adults and 10,820 were children.

The admitted patients were 4407, (3286 adults, and 1121 children).

He noted that since its establishment, the number of foreign patients at the JKCI has been on increasing trajectory. During the year under review, a total of 301 patients from outside the country received care at JKCI.

“The patients came from Somalia, Malawi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Comoro Islands, Ethiopia, Burundi, and other nations outside of Africa, such as Armenia, China, India, Norway, the United States and England,” he explained.

Speaking about ‘Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan Outreach Services’, Dr Kisenge said so far the institute has carried out testing and treatment of heart diseases for citizens by following them where they were in the various regions, including Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Coast, Arusha, Geita, Iringa, Mtwara, Lindi, Unguja, Manyara and Pemba.

“Through this programme, 6309 residents were reached; 3239 of them received diagnoses for cardiac-related diseases, and 724 of them were referred to JKCI for further treatment,” he explained.

Similarly, Dr Kisenge said that for the 2023/24 financial year, the institute has allocated 66.3bn/- for implementation of various tasks specified in the Work Plan and particular budget.

This budget is expected to impact the Institute’s priorities including improving heart disease treatment services, purchasing medical equipment, and modernising facilities to enhance citizens’ access to healthcare.

He urged the public to change their lifestyle by embracing physical exercises, focus on a healthy diet, abstain from smoking and drinking too much alcohol, and monitor their blood sugar levels, blood pressure and body fat levels in order to prevent cardiac illnesses.

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