Govt not ready to extend healthcare funding mechanism

Government has rebuffed a proposal that sought to extend its healthcare financing mechanism with Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM).

Mchinji North East Parliamentarian, Alex Chitete was proposing that the current Service Level Agreement (SLA) between government and CHAM health facilities should be extended to cater for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

Chitete argued that NCDs are common among the country`s population than the current SLA situation which only applies to maternal and neonatal services.

But commenting on the proposal, the Minister of Health and Population, Atupele Muluzi said the ministry is unable to cover the current SLA package due to limited resources.

“Under the current service level agreement that we have with CHAM facilities, resources now are being provided under the Health Services Joint Fund, which is through the donors, we don`t have resources to be able to support that at the moment,” he said.

Muluzi added that finances are being sourced from development partners as the ministry has accrued a lot of debts with CHAM due to unpaid dues.

However, Muluzi conceded that NCDs are a public health concern which includes diseases like hypertension, diabetes and cardiac arrest.

A study that was carried in 2015 showed that government will require over K10bn annually fully finance the essential health package in all eligible CHAM health facilities.

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