WINDHOEK – While it is important for Namibia to secure additional financing for health to achieve its goals and sustain its health response, it is equally important to ensure that such resources are managed efficiently, the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Kalumbi Shangula said.
“Improved efficiency and effectiveness can be achieved by reducing wastage of resources, eliminating bottlenecks and streamlining service delivery processes,” said Shangula, who made the remarks at the launch of the report titled ‘Namibia’s health and HIV financing landscape: Evidence from the 2015/16 and 2016/17 resource tracking exercises’.
Among others, the report shows that the balance of spending between primary health care facilities and secondary and tertiary facilities should be investigated. The report also highlights that spending on prevention services in relation to overall public spending is quite low.
Shangula explained that the 2015/16 and 2016/17 resource tracking exercise used a methodology that combined health accounts and national Aids spending assessment estimations.
“The results provide critical information on Namibia’s health financing landscape. This information is critical for strategic decision-making in the Ministry of Health and Social Services and by other stakeholders,” said Shangula. He also said that government prioritises health provision.
“This is borne by the fact that the government makes the largest contribution to health spending amounting to 56 percent in 2015/16 and 63 percent in 2016/17,” said the minister.
Shangula also touched on the country’s disease burden, saying that it is slowly transitioning from communicable to non-communicable diseases.
Communicable diseases spread from one person to another, through wind, water in an direct or indirect mode and are highly infectious. Non-communicable diseases are not spread and are non-contagious, but are caused due to allergy, long illness, abnormalities in cell proliferation, inherited, and malnutrition.
“The findings reveal that there is limited support by donors for reproductive health and non-communicable diseases. This calls for more government funding,” said Shangula.
Commenting on the same report, Dr Charles Sagoe-Moses, the World Health Organisation (Who) Country Representative said that several issues and recommendations raised in the report need to be reflected in the policies and plans of government. He said the more than half of the health spending in Namibia provided by the government demonstrates a strong commitment to health.
“However, going forward, it is important to understand whether this health spending across the required scope of health services is efficient and equitable across the population. We need to understand the extent to which these are unmet health needs and where spending is not reaching those who need it the most and those who are underutilising health services because of financial and other barriers to access it,” said Sagoe-Moses.
2019-02-25 09:53:06 6 months ago