Monday, September 25, 2017

Health minister directs MNH ‘not to refer patients’ to overseas hospitals

Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly

Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Minister Ummy Mwalimu 

By Gadiosa Lamtey @gadiosa2

Dar es Salaam. Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Minister Ummy Mwalimu on Monday September 25 directed the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) not to refer anyone to overseas hospital even President John Magufuli unless doctors declared were unable to treat the patient home.

Speaking at a handover of two paediatric theatres worth Sh1.5 billion donated by Archie Wood Foundation of United Kingdom, she said the MNH had improved and had requisite modern equipment for even rare operations.

"MNH management should not be afraid of politicians, but should work professionally. Don’t refer any person to overseas hospital even if it is President Magufuli or any minister unless our doctors declare they lack requisite equipment and expertise," she noted.

Ms Mwalimu added that the government had received some requests from other countries to refer their patients to the MNH, which showed the national health facility was competent enough to deal with even rare health cases.

MNH Executive Director, Prof Lawrence Museru, said the two theatres would speed up children’s operations from 15 to 60 operations per week. “It will also speed up treatment, considering some of the patients come from upcountry regions.”

Prof Museru said the equipment included, operating lights, operating tables, anaesthetic equipment with monitors, diathermy machines, sterilisation machines and surgical kits.

The donation came on the tight time as the MNH was in process to improve the paediatric unit.

He said in a few weeks the hospital would open a paediatric intensive care unit ward with 12 beds for children aged 1-12 years and 23 beds for children in critical conditions.

The chairman of Archie Wood Foundation, Sir Ian Wood, said they would continue collaborating with the government to support the health sector in the country.