TANZANIA: Govt Suspends Muhimbili Plan to Charge for Meals

June 2016 thecitizen; The minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu, said yesterday she had temporarily suspended the Muhimbili National Hospital’s (MNH) plan to launch patients food services pending a further notice.

Speaking to reporters, Ms Mwalimu said since the announcement of the plan, the ministry had received mixed opinion from members of the public and that it had come to her attention that more consultation was still needed before starting the implementation of the plan.

Early this week, MNH announced to introduce a food service to all admitted patients, a move geared towards improving service delivery and relieve patients’ relatives from inconveniences they encounter, when taking food to them.

MNH head of Communications Aminiel Aligaesha said the hospital had contracted food suppliers for the service, which would commence on July 1, this year. He said under the new system, each admitted patient would be required to contribute Sh50,000 whereby Sh10,000 would be for consultation fee, Sh10,000 for admission fee and Sh30,000 for food.

According to Mr Aligaesha, each patient would be required to pay Sh6000 a day. But the minister said yesterday that the exercise would not commence as planned pending more consultation.

“My office has received many opinions from the public and since this plan aims at improving the situation at MNH, I have directed the management to halt the plan for a while so that more consultation could be made,” she said.

Earlier, Ms Mwalimu spoke on the outbreak of unknown disease in Dodoma region saying the government will today transport blood, liver, stool and urine samples to the United States for medical examination.

For more than a week now, a strange disease has been attacking wananchi in Chemba and Kondoa Districts, in Dodoma region. Ms Mwalimu said that as of yesterday the number of patients has increased from 21 to 32.

“There is an increase of 11 patients, but we thank God the number of death has remained seven,” she said.

She added that Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) have conducted examination on grains samples and the results showed there were containing Aflatoxi, which is a poison.

She said the government has ordered wananchi to stop consuming grains produced in the area and that it will start supplying safe grains to the area.

The government’s Chief Medical Officer Prof. Muhammad Bakari said Aflatoxin poison is caused by fungus, which are found in grains.

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