The Government will roll out an ambitious health plan providing free health care and subsidised health services for its people in all public hospitals and health facilities throughout the country in two weeks time, it has been revealed.
In the past years hospitals and health facilities charged fees for services it provided for the people, Mr Kase said.
The user fees received by hospitals enabled citizens to have easy access to hospital based care. This revenue assisted greatly to hospitals annual operations, during unexpected budget shortfalls. This system will change by the end of the month.
Currently there are consultations happening with provinces, hospitals, church health services and major stake holders. Although there are reservations over the roll out, effective funding flow should help, said Mr Kase.
K20 million was released last year for this purpose and this support has continued for 2014 from the national government.
In 2013 budgets K9 million allocated for hospitals, K6 million allocated for provincial government rural health facilities and K5 million allocated for church health services.
This week, in the leaders’ summit, the Secretary said there will be two phases of implementation, that is level 1, 2, 3 and 4, which are rural health facilities run by both the church and government. All services here will be free.
The second phase will be implemented at level 5, 6, and 7 which are provincial hospitals including referral hospitals. Here some services will be free and subsidised.
For example, fees for outpatient consultation, drugs and delivery of babies will be done away with while the more specialist services are reduced by half.
Fees for some services will be reduced by 50 percent with government meeting half of the cost, whilst fees for services that are complex and expensive in nature will be marginalised.
The secretary said the effective implementation of the policy will allow improvements in health status of citizens. It will also help improve the national health plan core indicators, user fee impediments to access primary health care, lower maternal mortality rates, improve case death rates for pneumonia in children under five years, reduce prevalence for TB, malaria and HIV AIDS.
It will also increase outpatient visit and improve access, lower infant mortality death rates and increase supervised deliveries.
While there is consultation between the health department and all stakeholders involved in the plan, there are reservations from within the department.
Insiders say currently there are no public notices or announcements planned to inform the public.
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