Malawi government plans a push of health sector reforms which include introduction of paid services at public hospitals, allow private operators to run public hospitals and establish a special health fund.
The government also wants to introduce levies on alcohol and cigarettes consumption to raise additional revenue for the public health sector.
Dalitso Kabambe, director of planning and policy development at the Health Ministry said the proposed changes are meant to make public hospitals “more efficient and effective.”
Kabambe also said there will be an introduction of an insurance scheme for public servants..
He said the proposed raft of health reforms are meant to “raise money to support the health sector”.
The Health Ministry has submitted the proposed reforms to various stakeholders, including donors, who will later give their recommendations to the government.
If accepted, the proposed reforms will be endorsed by the government and sent to parliament for approval before implementation.
Juliana Lunguzi, chairperson of a parliamentary committee on health, hailed the proposed raft of reforms, but urged caution on how they were sold to Malawians.
“We need to package them in a way that, as a sector, we speak with one voice,” Lunguzi said.
She added: “We shouldn’t confuse the people about these reforms.”