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Government spending on health sector increases: Kavetuna

WINDHOEK, 05 OCT (NAMPA) - Government's allocation of resources to the health sector has increased considerably over the past 13 years from N.dollars 2.2 billion in the 2001/2002 financial year to over N.dollars 12 billion in 2014/2015 financial year.
This is contained in a recently completed report of results of Namibia's Fifth Round of Health Accounts for the 2014/2015 financial year officially launched by Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Juliet Kavetuna here on Thursday.
It means that as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Namibia's total health expenditure has increased from seven per cent to nine per cent over the same time period.
It also means that the country currently has the second highest total health expenditure as a percentage of its GDP in comparison to other member countries of the Southern African Development Community region.
The report says the results further demonstrate Government's commitment to health care as it continues to be the largest source of financing for health in the country.
“The share of health financing provided by the Namibian Government has increased significantly from 54 per cent in 2012/2013 to 64 per cent in the 2014/2015 financial year.
“It is as a result of Government's commitment to provide quality health for all that the country is close to achieving the Abuja target of allocating 15 per cent of government expenditure to the health sector.”
Kavetuna stressed that Government will continue being committed to the health sector as it works towards the achievement of the Universal Health Coverage and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
For Namibia to achieve this ambitious Universal Health Goal, the country will need to assess and identify suitable sources of health financing to ensure the sustainability of such an expanded health response.
The deputy minister pointed out that Namibia will need to mobilise further resources domestically to compensate for the continued reductions in donor funding for health in the country.
“While it is important to secure additional financing for health to achieve its goals and sustain its health response, it is equally important to ensure the resources allocated to the country's health sector are being managed efficiently and effectively,” she cautioned.
Meanwhile, Kavetuna acknowledged that her ministry is now challenged with providing healthcare to all Namibians in a manner that is accessible, equitable across the population and does not place an excessive financial burden on the country's vulnerable and poor people.
The 2014/2015 Health Accounts Exercise Report provides a detailed assessment of health and the use of both private and public financial resources in the health sector in the country.
The data collected and analysed came from non-governmental organisations, donor organisations, medical aid funds, ministries, private employers and households.
It will help direct the health ministry and other national policy-makers in their strategic planning to make informed decisions for health and other related social service delivery.

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