Outsourcing system proposed in health

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PARLIAMENTARY Committee for Community Development and Services has asked the government to adopt outsourcing system in healthcare sector to control the rising costs of service delivery.

Speaking after a tour of Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH), the Committee Chairman, Mr Peter Serukamba, said through outsourcing, an external supplier assumes responsibilities for managing one or more of the healthcare organisation’s businessclinical or hospitality services.

“Owing to technological advancements, time has come for the government to change the way of providing healthcare services especially in the area of medical equipment.

Vendor hiring is crucial as they can handle all resource needs by tapping into their pools of highly skilled, trained and certified technicians,” he noted.

Mr Serukamba said outsourcing particularly medical equipment can eliminate the need to hire in-house resources, greatly minimising the labour and operational costs.

He said with outsourcing, need will no longer arise to invest in highly specialised biomedical technicians.

Citing the CT-scan, he said in the past few months, the equipment was often reported to be out of order but if the equipment was outsourced, the hospital could have avoided the costs.

But, the Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Deputy Minister, Dr Hamisi Kigwangalla, said a task force from the ministry was working on prons and cons of the new system.

“We wanted to try this system before procuring CT-scan but we encountered several challenges... but, after the task force is done with their work, we will present it to responsible authorities, including the cabinet for further deliberations,” he said.

Dr Kigwangalla conceded that other countries were outsourcing hospital services but it was also important for Tanzania to properly incorporate the system, taking into account the country’s environment.

Earlier, presenting the institute’s report to the committee, MNH Director General, Professor Lawrence Mseru, said during the third quarter of 2016/17 financial year, the hospital spent over 4bn/- in development projects.

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