The Ministry of Health will increase funding by 30 per cent to ensure that district health services and hospitals provide optimal services, says Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya.
And Dr Chilufya says government is initiating appropriate interventions to ensure that budget provisions for key health programmes are significantly increased.
Speaking when he officiated at the National Planning Launch for the 2019-2021 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), Monday, Dr Chilufya disclosed that the Ministry of Health would be increasing funding by more than 30 per cent to ensure that district health services and hospitals provided optimal services.
This was with a view towards strengthening primary health care to ensure that district health services and hospitals provided optimal services.
“Furthermore, our budgetary provision for medicines and surgical supplies, including blood transfusion services; reproductive health and nutrition products will also increase by more than 50 per cent. I am happy to report that our budgetary support for child health has more than doubled in the last two years, and we shall significantly continue increasing our investment in human capital development. In order to ensure that district health services and hospitals provide optimal services, we shall be increasing funding by more than 30 per cent, with a view towards strengthening Primary Health Care particularly with a focus on Safe Motherhood, Child Survival, Malaria elimination, and HIV epidemic Control,” Dr Chilufya announced.
He assured donors and other cooperating partners that the money being donated to the country’s heath sector was being put to good use.
“I must recognize and heartily thank our cooperating partners that are contributing to shouldering the burden. You can rest assured that my office will closely be monitoring performance, particularly in line with the added resources that shall be entrusted for service delivery, and swift corrective action will be taken for non-performance. We have a job to do, and we must do it well. I am convinced you all appreciate the magnitude of the task before us. This requires that we do things differently. I also am sure that you have noted that the health sector cannot achieve these lofty aspirations by itself. Therefore, let me assist you by directing some of the approaches you must take when planning; cluster-based planning, with the sectors responsible for community development, information and education at all levels; community-based services, with maximal deployment of public health specialists, so as to know who you serve and their needs,” Dr Chilufya said.
“I would also like to appeal to the various planning teams that a plan does not need to be voluminous for it to achieve its intended outcomes, but it has to be concise, well-formulated interventions and strategies and implementable. Don’t spend too much time in setup land and not enough in action land.”
And Dr Chilufya said government believed that investing in the health of citizens was not just a social investment, but a tangible and smart economic investment, which would lead to the country’s development.
He explained that government was investing in maternal and child health, health promotion, disease prevention and in the elimination of Malaria and infrastructure development in order to significantly increase support for effective implementation of high impact interventions in the health sector.
“In these past two years, we have made great strides, and laid a firm foundation, to propel us to the apex of the Vision 2030. We hold it as a truth that the economic development of Zambia will be fuelled by a healthy and productive population. We hold firmly to the view that investing in the health of our people is not just social investment, but a tangible and smart economic investment, hence putting the health of our population as the fulcrum on which Zambia shall develop. We have committed ourselves to the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), rekindling the spirit of the Alma Ata Declaration of 1978, which was formulated exactly 40 years ago. The Spirit of Alma Ata enjoins us in Zambia to fully deploy Primary Health Care (PHC) in our quest for UHC,” Dr Chilufya explained.
“We must collectively critically review the health sector performance from 2017 to June 2018 and not shy away from making radical departure from what is not working, and escalating those approaches that have shown great promise. Further, Cabinet has signalled major intent by approving ‘Health in All Policies’, thereby, directing all sectors, to above all promote health in all that they endeavour to undertake. I wish to remind you that provinces, districts and hospitals are our front line implementers of all health programmes and I would like to guide that you all identify the comparative advantage you have, and seek to focus your energies in contributing towards their attainment: Reduce MMR to less than 100 from 398 per 100,000 live births and under-five child mortality from 75 to less than 35 per 1000 live births.”
Dr Chilufya said the Ministry was also focusing on the elimination of local Malaria and other infections by recruiting more healthcare workers and training of more specialist doctors to improve on healthcare delivery.
“In the just two years of implementing the NHSP 2017-2021, the Ministry of Health has recruited 13,296 health personnel and these personnel have already been deployed in the facilities countrywide. 215 specialist doctors are in training, as well as nurses in specialties such as oncology, public health & trauma & emergency nursing. All levels of the health sector, and affiliated bodies, are expected to closely follow through the legacy goals and ensure that appropriate interventions are devised to achieve the goals. As a demonstration of our policy intention, we shall ensure that budget provisions for key health programmes like maternal and child health, health promotion, disease prevention and elimination of Malaria and infrastructure development are significantly increased to support effective implementation of high impact interventions,” said Dr Chilufya.