SALIMA-(MaraviPost)-Malawi’s health ministry says will go full throttle with national health insurance in all public health facilities for quality services.
This will throw away the much talked user fees whereby citizens are required to pay any services acquired in public health facilities.
The advocate of users fees see the strategy as the way of financing the public health services which has limited resources from the central government.
Dr. Andrew Likaka, Director for Quality Management in the Ministry of Health (MoH) told The Maravi Post over the weekend after two day media orientation in Salima on Decentralization, Maternal, Newborn Health and HIV/AIDS that government will role out national health insurance.
The training attracted journalists from electronic, print and online publication media houses.
Dr. Likkaka prefers the insurance against users fees saying the later is more feasible and friendly to the public than user fees.
With health insurance, he added that the public will get their value for their money by getting quality services in all public health facilities.
He therefore observed that despite public referral hospitals practicing user fees argued that the services offered are on personal demand that those cases that are referred from primary health facilities.
But Member of Parliament (MP) for Dedza East, Juliana Lunguzi insists on user fees in health facilities arguing that free health care is not a reality.
Lunguzi observed that a lot of hospitals people are already paying for the services.
Organisations advocating for the removal of hospital user fees say the proposal contradicts the Universal Health Coverage Policy which recommends that countries should reduce the burden on households when accessing health care.
As part of the ongoing reforms in the Ministry of Health, government in 2015 announced proposals to introduce user fees in district hospitals for those who want to receive special treatment.
The proposal was an option for those who can afford to pay.
There are great disparities in the provision of health services in the country a situation which is badly affecting the poor and most vulnerable in the communities.