Members of civil society advocate that the resources allocated to the National Health System (NHS) do not respond to the dynamics of population growth and are not manifested in hospital institutions of lower levels.
For this reason, civil society believes that it is urgent to decentralize funds destined to the sector of health for better address of HIV and problems related to sexual and reproductive health in Mozambique.
The finding was recently expressed in Maputo, in a debate involving several actors in the health sector in Mozambique, from civil society organizations, government institutions and the media.
“There is central investment but resources do not reach the base. When investments do not reach the base, the NHS gets damaged. We have seen the lack of material in smaller-scale hospitals”, said consultant Egas Daniel, representing Prosolve Research & Development.
Egas added that the health unities, in the districts, are the most prejudiced of the lack of materials.
According to Firmino Gonçalves, also a consultant at Prosolve Research & Development, investment in the health sector does not respond to the dynamics of population growth.
“The investment does not respond to the dynamics of population growth. Investments do not take into account population growth and this can be a serious problem for the provision of improved services in the health sector”, says the consultant.
Taking into account Mozambique’s failure to meet Abuja Commitment – considering that from 2013 to 2020 there has been a drastic decrease in investment in health – the consultants raise the following questions: how many years Mozambique will take to reach 15 percent of the Commitment? Where are we supposed to seek resources to respond to the financial incapacity that the country presents to fulfill the Commitment?
For the deputy director of Mozambican Association of Nurses, Grácio Guambe, there is a need to deepen the debate on financing the health sector and there is also the need of working continuously on monitoring the resources allocated to this sector.
“The funding issue to the health sector is very worrying. We want to see medication being available for each person and, to do so, we need good funding to meet the challenges of the sector,” said Guambe.
In the same debate – Yara Paulo, representing the National Program for the Fight against AIDS, institution linked to Ministry of Health (MISAU) – defends the urgency of boosting funding to the health sector, especially to deal with Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV.
“There are improvements that need to be implemented, from the central to the basic level. More resources should be injected into the sector”, said Yara Paulo.
Rito Massuanganhe, representing the National Council to Combat HIV/AIDS, says it is important to prioritize the response to HIV to prevent the spread of infections.
“When you don’t prevent it, you spend a lot of money on HIV treatment. Therefore, it is urgent to take practical financing measures”, Massuanganhe said.
In order for the country to respond positively to this international commitments, the director of the Citizen Observatory for Health (OCS), Jorge Matine, defends the need of reducing external dependence, focusing on internal financing mechanisms without, however, putting pressure on the citizen.
“External dependence creates serious costs for the health sector. It dependents on foreign resources, while the problems are internal. We must find mechanisms to create funds to respond to the problems affecting the health sector”, defends the director, adding that “Mozambique cannot choose the same path chosen by Kenya and Lezotho, countries that seek fiscal zone in the pocket of the citizen.”
“We should not suffocate the pocket of the citizen, we should think about better fundraising mechanisms for the sector. Without the increase of resources, Mozambican hospital’s capacity to face basic issues of health will keep on reducing”, stressed Matine.
The meeting was held as part of a joint action between the Citizen Observatory for Health (OCS) and Action Aid Mozambique, as part of the implementation of the Partnership for Social Accountability Project (PSA).
The same meeting was preceded by the training of journalists on the supervision of public finances for the health sector, focusing on Reproductive Sexual Health and HIV.