Zambia still having challenges at 1st, 2nd level hospital

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Government says the health sector will continue to experience imbalances if the services provided at primary health levels are not supported by specialist treatment at the second and third level hospitals.

Minister of Health Joseph Kasonde said although the country has continued to achieve maximum results in the health system, the sector was still experiencing challenges at second and second hospital level.

Dr. Kasonde said there was need for an improved strategic investment in the referral system so that the second and third level hospitals are improved and equipped with specialised treatment care services.

He noted that if the continued decline of effective access to health services at the hospital level was not addressed, it would affect the health sector in yielding maximum results in the provision of clean, caring and competent health care services to the people of Zambia.

Dr. Kasonde however said that government will continue to strengthen the referral system from the second and third level hospitals in order to supplement the quality of care that was provided at primary health care level.

He explained that the extension of primary health care to other ministries such as the Ministry of Defence, Local Government and Community Development among others has called for a demand of improved health care provision at the second and third level hospitals.

Dr. Kasonde said this in Lusaka today at the signing ceremony of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between bilateral/multilateral partners and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs).

He explained that the MoU was meant to support the implementation process of the National Health Strategic Plan for 2011-2015 which government launched last year.

Meanwhile, Dr. Kasonde has reaffirmed that government will continue to work with the private sector in order to provide efficient health care strategies to the people of Zambia.

And Department for International Development (DFID) Head of Office in Zambia Kevin Quinlan said there was need for Zambia to develop a non-tolerant approach in the implementing various health policies which it has embarked on.

At the same function, United States (US) Ambassador to Zambia Mark Storrela urged government to remain transparent in the management of funds meant to improve the health standards of Zambians.

Ambassador Storrela was gratified that many cooperating partners have continued to support the health sector in Zambia adding that this shows the credibility of the government.