Janabi stresses health incurrence for sustainable services

MUHIMBILI National Hospital (MNH) Executive Director, Professor Mohamed Janabi has called on Tanzanians to join health insurance in order to afford medical expenses.

Prof Janabi said that specialised services are too expensive thus people should join health insurance in order to have sustainable services.

He made the call on Saturday in Dar es Salaam during a meeting which involved   heads of health institutions, including Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute (MOI), Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI), Medical Stores Department (MSD), National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), Tanzania Medicines and Medical Devices Authority (TMDA), Dar es Salaam Regional Medical Officer (RMO) and Medical Officers in Charge (MOI) for referral hospitals in Da es Salaam Region.

“At Muhimbili National Hospital, we spend about 600 m/- per month to pay for medical exemptions for poor patients, whereas for the last quarter of this financial year we have spent about 3bn/-. Thus the only solution is for citizens to join the health insurance,” he underscored.

Coupled with that, he said the medical exemption for indigent patients will be given in accordance with the hospital’s procedure after confirming that the patient is not able to pay for the relevant treatment bills, so it is good for the society to adhere to the procedures directed by the health service providers.

The National Assembly recently endorsed a government bill to attain Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

The government had proposed six main measures to finance over 15.8 million poor Tanzanians (around 26 per cent of the population) so as to attain UHC.

The sources include service levies on carbonated drinks, liquor, cosmetic products, betting, motor vehicle insurance fee and through electronic transaction levies.

Financing health expenses for the poor was among the key issues which were raised when the Universal Health Coverage Bill was tabled for the first reading in Parliament.

Tabling the UHC Bill in the National Assembly, Minister for Health Ms Ummy Mwalimu noted that due to the magnitude of the matter, all considerations and recommendations that had earlier hampered the process of endorsement of the Bill have been keenly dealt with.

Appearing for the second and third reading, the much-awaited bill is being looked at by the public as the answer to help many Tanzanians, especially the most vulnerable to access health services.

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