Addis Ababa: February 25, 2015 (Oromiyaa PO) - The Ministry of Health said that it will work its level best to ensure quality and equitable health service in the second Growth and Transformation Plan Period, GTP II.
It also stated that the nation has achieved 95 per cent of the envisaged health service coverage in the first GTP period.
Health Minister Dr. Kesete Birhan Admassu said that Ethiopia has done very well in terms of translating its Growth and Transformation Plans into reality and achieving goals and targets in the health sector.
The prominent target, the Ministry set for itself at the launching of GTP I, was to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Ethiopia was hence well on track in achieving all the three health related MDGs. In fact, it has achieved MDG-4 which is about reducing child mortality. Thus, the Ministry has achieved the set goal three years ahead of schedule, he added.
Dr. Kesete Birhan further said: “We are also doing well in terms of arresting communicable diseases. Ensuring access to health facilities is the other target we set for ourselves. Therefore, today, Ethiopia has achieved 95 per cent health service coverage. That means, we have built and furnished around 3,500 health centers. We have also multiplied over the number of primary hospitals in the country. In the course of the GTP period alone, we have constructed around 200 hospitals which have become operational. This has tremendously increased access to hospital services,” he added.
Recalling that the country was beset by the dearth of manpower in the past, Dr. Kesete Birhan said that the other target the Ministry eyes at is increasing the number of health workers in the country.
“In this regard, we have redoubled efforts particularly in areas where we have acute shortage of human resource.” Regarding midwives for instance, over the last four years, the Ministry has given midwifery courses to 6,000 health workers that have been deployed at the various health centers and hospitals around the country.
“We have also a plan to increase the number of medical schools. We have now 28 public medical schools that train medical doctors. Currently, the number of medical doctors stands at the 6,000 mark. The steps taken in this regard have significantly improved the doctor-population ratio. Pertaining to new graduates, who are expected to join the task force down the road, starting form 2015, we will have at least 3,000 medical doctors graduating every year, he added.”
Justifying that the Ministry would give special emphasis to ensuring quality and equity of production in the next GTP, Dr. Kesete Birhan said: “While we improve access to health service, we believe fine-tuning accessibility with quality is mandatory. Therefore, in the upcoming five years, the focus will shift to improving the quality of health care service starting from the community level and the health post up to tertiary hospitals. We will have key performance indicators that would show whether the service we are providing to the public is of acceptable quality,” he added.
And the Ministry will also focus on equitable treatment, it will narrow down the disparity between urban and rural areas (even far flung corners of the country) as well as between the poor and the rich segments of the community. The Ministry is thus gearing up to outreach all Ethiopians with an unprecedented stepped up effort, the Minister said.(FBC)