Tanzania To Unveil New Healthcare Policy

Mr. John Magufuli’s President of Tanzania is writing a new health policy that seeks to prevent patients from a ray of diseases.

The government is also updating the existing document that has been concerned with treatment measures, Health Minister, Ummy Mwalimu has disclosed.

The minister told reporters that work on the document was at the high-level of decision-making and is being reviewed by a panel of principal secretaries.

“The process is scheduled to be concluded in February next year,” she said.

A health policy that was adopted in 2003 and updated in 2007 is currently implementing in the country.

According to the Health, Community Development, Gender, Elders and Children Minister, the 2019/2020 health policy is expected to create a roadmap for the country’s implementation of universal health coverage.

She mentioned, for instance, a daily fee at the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) to a patient admitted at its Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to reach 500,000/-and for a public outpatient is required to pay 50,000/-daily.

She said the government has so far completed writing a bill for national health insurance, making it a mandatory requirement for all. Already the government announced it had launched new insurance packages under NHIF to maximize chances for more people to access the services.

Such treatment packages launched in Dar es Salaam include Najali Afya Premium, Wekeza Afya Premium, and Timiza Afya. The packages target individuals aged 18-35 years, 36-59 years and over 60 years. The minimum and maximum cost is between 192,000/- and 1,644,000/- depending on service and age limit.

Tanzania Health Symposium (THS) President, Dr. Omary Chillo said surveys show 44 percent of middle-income earners tend to seek medical care and treatment in private health facilities despite high expenses. He said that a collective approach is needed to study the pattern and come up with a solution that engages both public and private health service providers in the name of Public-Private Partnership (PPP).