State to bankroll MSD, NHIF in coming fiscal year

THE Medical Stores Department (MSD) will receive seed capital in the coming fiscal year 2023/2024 from the government in order to be transformed into a medical depot instead of a government medical procurement unit.

Finance and Planning Minister, Dr Mwigulu Nchemba announced the government’s decision while presenting the National Budget for 2023/2024 in the National Assembly in Dodoma yesterday.

“In 2023/24, the government will continue to allocate funds for improvement of health services, including provision of capital to MSD so as to improve its operational performance to become a medical depot rather than government medical procurement unit,” he said.

Dr Nchemba further said the sixth phase government aspires to ensure continuous improvement of health services.

He said that the government will also pay arrears of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) in the next fiscal year to enhance its contribution in provision of health services in the country.

In the morning session, presenting the achievement attained in the implementation of the annual development plan for 2022/2023, Dr Mwigulu said some notable successes in the sector includes provision of bone marrow transplant services where 14 patients have attended at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) and 11 patients at Benjamin Mkapa Hospital.

According to him, the availability of such service in the country has reduced the cost of obtaining the services from outside the country from 250m/- to 70m/- which is equivalent to 72 per cent decrease.

Further, he said the government has continued to improve primary level health services by ensuring availability of basic health throughout the country.

“In this regard, 59 district hospitals have been constructed, continuing with the completion of 300 dispensaries in 184 districts, rehabilitation of 19 old district hospitals and procurement of health facilities for 150 health centres, 300 dispensaries and 71 district hospitals,” said Dr Nchemba.

In her budget estimates for 2023/2024 financial year, Minister for Health, Ummy Mwalimu said that her office intends to spend 1.23tri/- in implementing the priorities and other ministries’ operations.

Ms Mwalimu said that in the next financial year, the government will strengthen prevention against diseases, including vaccination services, nutrition services, sanitation and environmental cleanliness services, as well as health services at the community level.

In doing so, what will be implemented includes strengthening the implementation of vaccination interventions for children, for which 114.3bn/- has been allocated.

Another priority, according to Ms Mwalimu, will be to strengthen the availability and quality of health services provided by public health centres at all levels.

Along with other things, the ministry has planned to build and renovate infrastructure to be able to provide health services found at national level to the regional referral hospitals, where 91.8bn/- has been allocated.

The availability and control of medicines, medical equipment, reagents and safe blood will also be strengthened at all levels of health care delivery at an estimated budget of 205bn/-.

In addition, maternal and child health services will be strengthened to reduce maternal and infant deaths at a cost of 16.2bn/-.

The Minister further said an estimated 23bn/- have been set aside for, among other things, establishing a programme to cover the high-quality medical services provided by hospitals in the country.

These programmes include kidney transplants, brain transplants for children, hearing aids for children and performing brain surgery without opening the skull.

“We will strengthen the infrastructure at the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI), Ocean Road Cancer Institute, Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute, Kibong’oto Special Hospital, Bugando, Mbeya, and Benjamin Mkapa Regional Referral Hospitals,” Ms Mwalimu noted.

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