1 March 2013

Tanzania: Mwinyi Touts Quality Health Services for the Poor

FORMER President Mr Ally Hassan Mwinyi has urged private health facilities not to charge high payment for their services in order to enable poor people to access quality health services.

"I urge private health service providers to consider poor people because they also deserve to get quality health services," said the former president. Mr Mwinyi made the appeal on Wednesday night during the 15th Annual General Meeting of The Association of Private Health Facilities in Tanzania (APHFT) and The 1st East Africa Health Care Federation Scientific conference and Pharmex 2013.

Mr Mwinyi who was the guest of honour said that quality health services to the general public is the best solution to an endless war against poverty and diseases in Tanzania. Speaking at the same occasion, APHFTA Chairman, Dr Salim Hashim asked the government to enable health care providers to penetrate into rural areas because that's where there is a huge population that need quality services compared to urban areas.

"Health care providers like to provide quality services to rural areas just as they do in urban areas, but they fail due to several challenges like poor infrastructure and insufficient funds," he said. Dr Hashim said the formation of a regional umbrella healthcare organization "East Africa Healthcare Federation" (EAHF) will support the growth of the health sector in all the East African Community (EAC) member states.

He further said that the project will be in line with the spirit of the EAC and encourage Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in the health sector. "EAHF will endeavour to strengthen meaningful PPPs in health across the region and encourage investments in the health sector," added Dr Hashim.

Meanwhile, NESTORY NGWEGA reports from TANGA that Tanga District Commissioner, Ms Halima Dendego has directed health workers in her district to respect and provide better health services to senior citizens when seeking medical service in their respective health centres. She also urged ward executive officers to know and list all elders in their areas, so that they can be provided with Community Health Fund (CHF) identity cards, which would help them get free medical services in hospitals.

The district commissioner gave the directives when she was addressing senior citizens of Tanga district yesterday, during forum aimed at discussing on elders' issues and how to address their challenges in order to make them live a better life. Ms Dendego said as a district commissioner, she would like to see that elders are treated with dignity, taking into account that they contributed a lot for this country's well being since independence. The DC stressed that during her tenure she is determined to address issues that disturb many people including elders.

"I want to see doctors and all those responsible in health centres to provide better services to elders, the window for elders should be open and a doctor on duty should be there at all times, we shouldn't make them wait unnecessarily, we ought to respect them, they'r our parents," she noted. Ms Dendego promised to make regular visits to heath centres to see implementation of her directives and that disciplinary measures will be taken against those who will ignore elders. The forum was organized by an NGO helping Tanga elders known as Nguvumali Women Elders Service (ONGWESE).

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