Govt committed to universal health coverage – Masebo
THE new dawn administration is committed to universal health coverage using the primary health care model to ensure no one is left behind, Health Minister Sylvia Masebo has said.
Ms Masebo in a speech read by Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary (Technical Services), Lackson Kasonka during the official opening of the Zambia Association of Private Hospitals 10th annual general meeting in Lusaka said government would support the growth of the private sector in health care business.
She said the new dawn administration had rededicated itself to restoring local production of medicines and medical supplies within the country,
She said private hospitals were an important element in the delivery of quality health care to the Zambians, forming a formidable partnership with the government on the mission.
“This commitment sounds to be an ambition too big to attain on the part of the Ministry of Health. But we know that this can still be achieved through collective responsibility by both the public and private sector in health care. This statement gets to empathize with the importance of the Zambia Association of Private Hospitals. Our memories on the ravages on Covid-19 are very fresh in our minds. The third wave was particularly devastating. We experienced disruption in essential health services and consequent loss of lives for our patients,’’ she said.
Ms Masebo was thankful to the private practice sector for building solidarity with those in the public sector to help bring the Covid-19 pandemic to a control.
“With our Theme, “Public Private Partnership in the Post Covid Pandemic Era” and through our collective action we were able to disseminate effective infection prevention messages, treat the sick and motivate the survivors towards reintegration. We also have managed to attain a record 75 percent immunization coverage from 3.5% in 13 months. This is an incredible achievement and a testimony to how much we can achieve when we work together,’’ Ms Masebosaid.
She added that the growth of the economy as envisioned by President Hakainde Hichilema would be driven by the private sector initiatives.
“The role of government should and will be to create a conducive environment for the private sector to drive the economy. As the Zambia Association of Private Hospitals, you have the mandate to grow the health sector business to complement the public sector,’’ he said.
He expressed gratitude for the hard work the private sector has put, for working together with the public sector during the fight against Covid 19 as it was never easy.
“We are also grateful that the government continues to spend enormous amounts of money each year on patient’s referral abroad, with Indian and South Africa taking the most share. These patients go to the private sector in these countries. Our expenditure on treatment abroad for the government is big and this should continue in the years ahead,’’ Prof Kasonka said.