Monday, August 8, 2016
Corruption in health sector grows higher
UHURU Torch National Race Leader George Mbijima has condemned corrupt practices in the health sector, asking public servants to observe professional ethics and refrain from the ills in service delivery. Mr Mbijima was speaking at Bwanga Health Centre in Geita region where he, among other activities, launched the new maternity building with operating theatre, the courtesy of Amref Health Africa, Tanzania Branch. He said there was a time corruption was rampant in the health centre to the extent of staff refusing to offer services unless they receive some tokens from the patients. “Corruption is an enemy to justice but it becomes more dangerous when it thrives in such sensitive sectors like health. Please observe professionalism at the highest level possible,” he said, citing other unethical behaviour as stigma to patients with permanent diseases like HIV/AIDS. Mr Mbijima expressed concern over increasing malaria related cases and deaths, warning patients against snubbing malaria doses for alcohol consumption. He counseled youths, advising them to get rid of narcotic drugs which impede their active participation in economic activities. The race leader thanked Amref for the donation of the new facility that will boost Health Centre’s capacity to serve the population with specialised services including surgical operations. Bwanga Health Centre Officer in Charge Deogratias Rubanzibwa said the availability of the operating theatre will ease the burden of referring patients to the District Hospital, which is 60 kilometres away from the centre. Dr Rubanzibwa however said the facility still faces critical shortage of essential supplies like drugs manpower, expressing optimism that the problem might end as the centre transforms from rural to urban set up. He decried the financial challenge due to cost sharing policy, noting that majority poor patients at the centre were being attended to free of charge. “We are implementing the government policy where children under five, pregnant mothers and elders are treated freely but in my view we are losing a lot compared to the few patients paying for the services,” he said. According to Dr Rubanzibwa, cost sharing arrangement earns the centre about 2m/- monthly contributed through Community Health Fund and National Health Insurance Fund.