Summit calls for increased financing for health sector – Capital Radio Malawi
22 September, 2023

Summit calls for increased financing for health sector

Delegates to a three-day dialogue on health financing are challenging authorities to seal leakages in public funds as a way of saving more resources towards the country’s health sector.

The country’s health sector remains the least resourced sectors as government struggles to meet the Abuja declaration on health budgetary allocation.

Parliamentary budget and finance committee Chairperson Gladys Ganda, points out that government is giving out more financial resources through tax holidays plus other tax incentives to multinational companies.

Ganda adds that the country is losing nearly K500 billion annually, a resource envelope which would have been crucial towards health financing.

The country’s health sector gets a budgetary allocation of $10 per capita which goes towards construction of health facilities, remuneration for employees, procurement of medicines and operational costs of the country’s hospitals which is deemed to be too low to sustain the health sector.

Director of Kamuzu Central Hospital Jonathan Ngoma disclosed that the limited sources of funding have crippled most of their services like referral of patients for specialized care abroad.

Ngoma says more people continue to die whilst on the waiting list because the resource envelop for referrals is too small.

“We have an allocation of K1 billion to cater for all referrals across the country, which is a very small package, and if you visit our hospitals, you would notice that two nurses are looking after 80 patients, which is not only too demanding, but also demotivating for the few staff members we have” Ngoma said.

Processes are currently underway to consider revisiting the country’s Public Health Act.

There are recommendations for patients to contribute a nominal fee as well as the introduction of health insurance for all salaried employees, to ensure sustainability in financing for the health sector which continues to face funding hiccups every year.

Health and Rights Education program executive Director Maziko Matemba has since stressed the need for the country to defend the interests of the underprivileged as the country seeks to create more avenues for financing the health sector.

The three-day summit was funded by the global fund in partnership with the African Union, SADC and others.

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