Samia stresses medical tourism

Massive investment in Tanzania’s health sector is aimed at enhancing availability of specialised services and strengthening the country’s position as a healthcare hub for medical tourism, President Samia Suluhu Hassan said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the fully packed Lake Tanganyika Stadium in Kigoma Region, shortly before concluding her three-day working tour President Samia assured that the government will continue constructing more zonal hospitals, to ease accessibility of specialised health services.

The health projects implementation is in line with the ruling CCM party’s 2020/2025 manifesto and the Third Five-Year National Development Plan (FYDP III) that emphasize on the improvement of primary and specialised health care.

Already, the country has seen improvement in provision of quality health services, which have cut down the number of Tanzanians seeking treatment overseas by more than 95 per cent, while attracting patients from neighboring countries.

And President Samia insisted that the government’s determination to make Tanzania a center of excellence in provision of specialized health service remains intact and that it will continue putting efforts in transforming the sector.

As part of efforts to implement the strategy, the government has already allocated 5bn/- for construction of a zonal hospital in Kigoma that will also serve patients from neighboring regions including Katavi.

“This hospital will also serve as the center of excellence that will also be receiving patients from outside the country as a result of implementing medical tourism strategy,” she said, noting that the facilities will also maintain a role of reducing the number of Tanzanians patients seeking treatment overseas.

She said the hospital will help to reduce congestion in other hospitals including Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) in Dar es Salaam, Bugando Referral Hospital (Mwanza), KCMC (Kilimanjaro) and Benjamin Mkapa (Dodoma) since patients in the western regions will have access to specialised treatment within their areas.

According to the Head of State, the government will ensure accessibility to better health care to all regions for Tanzanians to be in position to continue performing their economic activities for individual and national interest.

“Here in Kigoma, the hospital will complement the efforts by the government to open the region through construction of various development projects that aim to stimulate domestic and international businesses given the region’s geographical position,” she said.

In another development, President Samia said the government will issue 2bn/- to be spent on fishing up the construction of Kigoma’s Maweni Regional Referral Hospital.

She added that the government is working hard to bring development projects in Kigoma for the sake of making it a regional commercial hub.

“Concentration of all social– economic services aim to stimulate the economy of Kigoma and the country at large,” she said.

Apart from health facilities, other projects that are being implemented in Kigoma are on electricity, road infrastructure, port, education and water sector.

Moreover, President Samia contended the secretariat in Kigoma Region for property supervision of development projects being implemented asking them to maintain the spirit in the coming schemes.

“I’m pleased with the fact that all district councils in Kigoma Region received unqualified opinions from the report of the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) for the year 2020/21,” she noted.

Also in 2021/22, revenue collections in the Kigoma Region increased to 19.2bn/- from 16.2bn/- of the year 2020/2021.

Moreover, the local government councils in Kigoma also increased their collections to 14.6bn/- in 2021/22 from 13.3bn/- that was recorded in the fiscal year 2020/21.

Earlier, various ministers who accompanied President Samia in her work visit to Kigoma assured their determination to properly supervise implementation of projects under their dockets.

A list has Angela Kairuki, Minister of State President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government, Prof Joyce Ndalichako (Minister of State Prime Minister’s Office Labor Youth and People with Disability), January Makamba (Energy) and Prof Makame Mbarawa (Works and Transport).

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