HEALTH Minister Joseph Kasonde says Government will ensure that it completes the upgrading of health institutions by the end of next year.
The minister said in Kabwe yesterday that this would enable clinics and hospitals to deliver quality health services.
Dr Kasonde said it was unfortunate that people travelled long distances to access medical services, especially in rural areas where the establishment was at 50 per cent less.
He was speaking yesterday in Kabwe when he addressed medical staff from Kabwe General Hospital and mine hospital to discuss the realignment of certain functions between the Health ministry and that of Community Development, Mother and Child Health.
He, however, expressed happiness at the hospitals' ability to attend to patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and that the Government was still working on improving medical infrastructure.
Dr Kasonde said the re-alignment of the two ministries would see the Ministry of Health broaden its duties as it would be working at all levels in communities.
He said his ministry would be offering services at the community level and hence some clinics would be turned into second level hospitals in order to serve the people effectively.
Central Province Minister Philip Kosamu said the ICU was a plus to the province as it had seen the effective treatment of accident victims.
Mr Kosamu said the continued efforts to improve infrastructure in health centres has proved to be an effective way of delivering quality health services.
Meanwhile, Health Ministry deputy technical support services Dennis Mulenga said the funds for the realignment of the ministries had already been released.
Dr Mulenga said the realignment would see the increase in the functions of the Ministry of Health as it would be dealing with the child health issues in communities and other areas.