Africa, Morocco - Health care reform plan benefits poor, rural Moroccans

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Article publication date: 13 June 2008

Keywords

Citation

(2008), "Africa, Morocco - Health care reform plan benefits poor, rural Moroccans", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 21 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijhcqa.2008.06221dab.005

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:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Africa, Morocco - Health care reform plan benefits poor, rural Moroccans

Article Type: News and views From: International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Volume 21, Issue 4

Keywords: Quality improvement, Healthcare access and equity, Healthcare reform

The Moroccan government has announced an ambitious programme to reform its health care system to provide better care in all regions of the country.

Health Minister Yasmina Baddou said the ministry plans to restructure the national health system in order to lower costs and raise the quality and accessibility of services to the country’s least privileged.

The Moroccan government has announced a new health strategy to bring reforms to the ailing health care sector. Health Minister Yasmina Baddou said the plan - set to run from 2008 to 2012 - will address two basic priorities: making treatment accessible to the least privileged in society and reducing the overall costs of care and medicines.

The ministry hopes to augment the patchy geographical distribution of health services and professionals. At present, Morocco has 46 doctors for every 100,000 inhabitants, with 44 per cent of doctors located in the narrow zone between Rabat and Casablanca. The country only has 130 hospitals and 2,000 basic health care centres. Those living in remote regions are often forced to travel to the major cities for treatment.

The health ministry plans to restructure the national health system to introduce regional centres to decentralise management of health care facilities. According to the government, members of the public should be afforded accessible, high-quality care across the length and breadth of Morocco.

The hope is to provide a competitive, high-performance public health service. Another goal is to improve contact with the public service, as many patients complain about the advice given and the delays in starting treatment.

The availability of drugs is another major challenge. According to health ministry figures, drugs account for 750 m dirhams of the state budget. “Due to failings in the management system,” said Yasmina Baddou, “drugs are not available everywhere- we need to think about decentralisation and accountability.”

Another target of the new strategy is the treatment of long-term conditions such as cancer, diabetes and mental health problems. It is also hoped that the level of care in hospitals will be improved, and that effective and systematic co-ordination between hospitals and clinics will provide a map of the nation’s health. Such information will help the government refine its approach to human resources management, to implement and broaden the medical assistance regime.

Morocco wants to reduce its level of deaths in childbirth to 50 per 100,000, down from the current rate of 227 per 100,000. Infant mortality, currently 40 per 1,000 births, is to be reduced to 15 per 1,000 by 2012.

Raising moral standards in the sector is another important component of the plan - particularly stamping out corruption in public hospitals. To fight corruption the government will create avenues for victims to submit formal complaints, developed in partnership with Transparency Maroc. One government official told Magharebia, “It is not simply a question of fighting corruption with sanctions, but also setting up preventive measures.”

It is hoped that a partnership between the public sector and NGOs will help in reaching the stated goals. The ministry is aware of the value of working with the private sector for the first time to create a favourable environment and to improve the health sector.

For more information: www.magharebia.com