Tanzania: Shortage of Medical Doctors Still Worrisome Despite Govt Efforts

HEALTH stakeholders have appreciated efforts by the government in improvement of the health sector in the country. They also advised authorities to invest more in the sector to make sure citizens get free and quality health services countrywide.

Speaking in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the President of Medical Association of Tanzania (MAT), Dr Elisha Osati confirmed that the government has invested a lot in the health sector which has improved health services compared to previous days.

Dr Osati made the remarks as the guest of honour during the commemoration of Universal health Coverage day.

The event was coordinated by Health Promotion Tanzania (HDT). He said that in previous years, people were forced to travel to foreign countries for medical treatment, but now the same health services are provided in the country although for some cases the service costs are high.

"Now the government has increased the budget for medicine in hospitals from 30bn/- in the previous years to the current 70bn/-. The challenge is to get the money at the right time," he said. A

ccording to him, there are 350 health centres and 1,000 dispensaries countrywide, which is a good move in providing quality health services to the general public and job opportunities in the health sector.

Dr Osati said about 1,000 medical doctors complete their studies every year, but they do not secure employment despite the fact that there is still a shortage of human resources in the health sector in the country.

"In Tanzania, 26,000 to 30,000 patients are attended by one medical doctor per year, but the international standards require one medical doctor to attend 10,000 patients per year.

In Zanzibar, they have succeeded in one medical doctor attending to 7,000 per year," he said.

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