Deputy H/Minister commends reforms at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre

27Jul 2021
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Deputy H/Minister commends reforms at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre

EVANGELICAL Lutheran Church in North Central Diocese is undertaking major structural reforms in the management and investment of Arusha Lutheran Medical Center in order to enable the facility offer world class health services in the next five years.

Deputy minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Godwin Mollel (3rd R) in a souvenir photo with Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania's North Central Diocese head, Bishop Dr Solomon Masangwa (4th L) and management staff of Arusha Lutheran Medical Center last weekend. Photo: Guardian Correspondent.

The ELCT North Central Diocese Head Bishop, Dr Solomon Masangwa told visiting Deputy Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Godwin Mollel that they have developed a five year plan to make ALMC an icon in healthcare delivery to complement government efforts in saving the lives of Tanzanians.

“All reforms that are undertaken at the ALMC are meant to bring about the revolution in healthcare services. The grand idea behind the changes is to make the hospital an internationally recognized facility in a bid to attract patients from across the World,” Dr Masangwa boasted.

He was seconded by ELCT North Central Diocese Secretary General, John Tanaki thanked the government for understanding that faith based organizations are not its competitors in the delivery of health services but rather its partners.

The ALMC which was opened in 2009, is the largest and modern hospital based in Arusha and has already been bestowed by authorities as a zonal referral hospital hence serving more than five regional hospitals in northern Tanzania with a capacity to attend 150,000 patients annually.

The ALMC CEO, Elisha Twisa said that the hospital has state-of-the-art equipment, qualified and experienced staff who are offering world class healthcare services. “Our medical staff members include 21 medical specialists,” said Twisa.

Being a zonal referral hospital it also serves as a teaching institution and mostly offers healthcare services to outpatients and those who are admitted. “The hospital runs an advanced emergency medicine department, performing laparoscopic surgeries, nephrology and dialysis, neurosurgery, obstetrics and gynaecology and a well-equipped neonatal intensive care unit,” Twisa said while briefing Dr Mollel.

In fullfilling its corporate social responsibility, ALMC since its commencement treated a total of 4,066 poor patients who would otherwise have died freely, costing the hospital 752m/-, the CEO said.

“As if that is not enough, ALMC spends about 99m/- annually to offer free of charge premature neonates service,” the ALMC’s CEO noted.

ELCT’s North Central Diocese recently undertook a comprehensive restructuring at ALMC, key among them, was appointment of a pioneer non-medical CEO, Elisha Twisa, to spearhead the mission of making the hospital a full-fledged center of excellence in health care provision in the next five years.

The changes also brought in the new director of clinical services, Dr Frank Madinda, to oversee the range of services offered, their quality and how efficiently they are provided as well as defining the parameters of performance which are most important to guide and monitor hospital management.

In remarks during the visit Dr Mollel said the government was not only supporting, but also proud of the reforms as they intend to shape the future of healthcare service provision at ALMC.

“Ministry of Health has been proudly keeping a tight eye on ALMC spirited transformations. We fully support the move because we believe the reforms will usher in the new dawn in health care service delivery and it is where the public sector will replicate the best practices,” he said amidst applause from staff and management of ALMC.

He pleaded with the ALMC staff to work diligently, support the reforms, and accord the new CEO and his team earnest cooperation, if their hospital is to attain the center of excellence status to pull regional and international patients in the near future.

“I would also like to urge the ALMC new management to ensure the staff’s welfare is a priority. Make sure their social security remittances are submitted in time to guarantee their hassle-free pension just like their counterparts in the public sector,” the Deputy Minister stressed. 

ALMC has been offering palliative care to terminally ill patients, easing pain and suffering so they can die with dignity in an environment with family and friends, a unique service which many health facilities don’t have in the country.