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Minister to cut middlemen in delivery of health services

HEALTH minister Jonas Chanda says he is going to cut out all the middle men in the health service delivery.

Dr Chanda also directed National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA) to ensure all the contributions are sent directly to the health facilities designated to administer the policy.

He said it was NHIMA’s mandate to ensure those contributions that were given should directly go to beneficiary the facilities in terms of drugs and equipment.

Dr Chanda said the NHIMA bill was passed because the ministry wanted Zambians to stop paying out of pocket when they are sick.

“The bill is supposed to benefit the most-poor, the most vulnerable in the country. We contribute to see the most visible benefits at the service delivery point,” he said.

Dr Chanda said the ministry was not going to allow private laboratories and pharmacies in public health institutions because they presented the low confidence of public institutions.

“What massage is the public health institution communicating to their own labs because it shows that they are not confident in their own,” he said.

Dr Chanda noted that the private sector was a key players and that they can operate together but not to take over public facilities.

He said the government wanted the benefits of NHIMA to be felt by Zambians when they seek health care.

Meanwhile, Dr Chanda called on the private sector on the Copperbelt to get involved in the fight against COVID-19

He said the management of COVID-19 patients was not an exclusive right of the public health system, otherwise public institutions would be overwhelmed.

He said the provincial heath sector should assess private health institutions to see if they can handle critical COVID-19 cases.

Dr Chanda said the Ministry of Health would be assessing the private sector because they needed to be guided.

He however said there was no need for everyone to rush for a COVID-19 test because the Ministry of Health wanted to manage the resources well.

Dr Chanda also bemoaned the lack of drugs in the health facilities and called on the ministry to prioritise the stabilisation of the supply chain especially for drugs and other medical supplies, because it was pointless to have big health facilities without drugs.

He urged health institutions to service equipment and not just watch them rot away.

“We don’t want to have big facilities with non-functional equipment,” said Dr Chanda.

Copperbelt Provincial medical director Dr Robert Zulu said his office was working towards enhancing better health service delivery.

Dr Zulu said with support from the government people were able to receive improved health care.

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