Maputo — Responsibility for all primary health care in Maputo City will be transferred next week from the central government to the Maputo Municipal Council.
This measure covers 26 health centres and the three morgues in the city. Under a memorandum of understanding signed in Maputo on Friday, the management of these institutions is to be transferred to the municipality. According to Maputo City health director Pascoa Wate, the health centres will now be subordinate to the Health and Social Welfare area of the municipality, but the transfer will be processed gradually. “We are just transferring the management”, she said. “The staff at the centres will continue to work in the same way. What will happen is that they will become accountable to the municipality”.
Wate added that the 26 centres were chosen after concluding that the technical conditions for the transfer had been met. Five centres remain that are still run by the central government. “We shall continue to monitor progress so that we can transfer the other health centres to the municipality”, Wate said.
The City Councillor for Health and Social Welfare, Nurbai Calu, said that this transfer does not introduce any far-reaching changes into the operation of the system, since the same health professionals who work at the morgues and health centres will remain at their posts.
“As a municipality, we agreed that in a first phase we are only going to transfer these centres”, said Calu. “The Ministry of Health will continue to comply with its obligations, including the purchase of medicines and the training of human resources, since there is no municipal health service at national level”.
The law that set up the municipalities envisaged a gradual transfer of services, including education and health, from the central government to municipal responsibility.