PM urges private investors in health sector to review costs

11Mar 2019
Getrude Mbago
The Guardian
PM urges private investors in health sector to review costs

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has urged private investors in the health sector to review service costs so as to allow more low income-earners to get access medical services in the country’s health facilities.

He wanted the healthcare providers to take the business as a service as the government was granting them a number of exemptions for smooth operations.

Speaking during the launch of the phase II of a 192bn/- expansion of Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam at the weekend, Majaliwa said that medical expenses in some private hospitals were high thus denying services to majority of people.

“The government recognises the big role and contribution of private sector in the health sector, but it is better for the private hospitals to create a framework and ensure that their services reach everyone even those with low income,” he said.

During his address, Prime Minister also expressed his happiness with the new Aga Khan facilities.

“I have personally seen the investment in this building and witnessed the project coming to fruition. I have been informed by many patients that this hospital provides the highest quality of health care,” he said.

For her part Princess Zahra Aga Khan, member of the board of directors of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) said that the second phase development also marks a countrywide expansion of AKHS with 35 outreach health centres, 23 of which are already operational.

She said the expansion, funded by a $53.5million (134bn/-) loan from the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement - AFD) and a $26.3million (58bn/-) contribution from the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), transforms the previous 74-bed facility to a leading 170bed tertiary care, referral and teaching centre that will serve as an integrated health care medical facility for Tanzania and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.

The completion of the project will enable the institution to serve over one million patients per year.

“I am pleased that the hospital today employs some of the most qualified and competent human resources, supplemented by world-class technical expertise, and will offer specialised programmes…which will also respond to the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases in Tanzania,” in a speech given on the occasion of the expansion’s opening.”

She added; “I am delighted that this advanced facility will allow Tanzanians to receive world-class treatment at home thereby reversing medical tourism and also encouraging medical tourism from the region.”

Princess Aga Khan further said that the hospital will play an essential role in cementing Tanzania as a regional leader in the provision of world-class healthcare and education. In growing its educational programme, the hospital will now house 64 medical residents and 60 interns each year.

Ambassador of France to Tanzania Frédéric Clavier said; “By choosing to support the health sector among others, France shows its confidence in Tanzania in the key field of development. It is also a pride to work in close partnership and trust with the Aga Khan Development Network which has always lived up to its ambitions.”

He noted that the expansion builds on the long history of successful cooperation between AFD and AKDN. In the health sector alone, the partnership has resulted in the building of the Heart and Cancer Centre of the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi, financial and technical support from France.