GIS – 15 November 2016: The National Health Accounts (NHA), an internationally accepted tool for summarising, describing, and analysing the financing of national health systems, are in the process of institutionalisation in Mauritius.
The institutionalisation of NHA entails conducting the estimation of health expenditures on a regular and sustained basis. It is an ongoing process in which NHA activities, structures, and values become an integral and sustainable part of government operations.
In this context, the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) is organising, in Ebène, a six-day capacity building session on Health Accounts Production Tool (HAPT). The HAPT is a software application developed by WHO and USAID to guide health accounts teams through the entire production process of NHA reports, thereby reducing the need for technical assistance and increasing local capacity for health account production.
At the opening ceremony of the session this morning, the Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Mr Anil Gayan, stressed that expenditure on health services must be reasonable, quantifiable, measurable, and accountable, with the necessity to reap positive outcome out of every cent spent.
The Minister recalled that Household Out-of-pocket Expenditure on Health in the Republic of Mauritius were estimated at Rs 10.81 billion in the 2015 Survey, and highlighted that health services will be much better if wastage could be avoided. “Medication wastage has direct and indirect consequences namely the economic implications arising from costs of unused medications such as those related to procure the medication, expenses required to dispose of unused medication as well as environmental implications associated with wastage disposal,” pointed out Mr Gayan. He urged Regional Health Directors to ensure transparency and monitor closely expenditure relating to the health services.
The benefits of the National Health Accounts
NHA are deemed important in providing better information about health system financing for the design of health care policy and to improve health system performance. Through a standard set of tables, the NHA present various aspects of a nation’s health expenditures including public, private, and donor expenditures. NHA are also used to monitor progress towards Universal Health Coverage and the targets of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals.
In Mauritius, the first phase of the NHA project, which comprised data collection from all stakeholders, has been completed. The second phase, which consists in analysing the data and institutionalising data reporting requirements, is at present being implemented.
During the capacity building session, participants from the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Statistics Mauritius and the Mauritius Institute of Health will be engaging in hands-on practice on HAPT, through data collected from all stakeholders involved either directly or indirectly in the provision of health services. The NHA Report 2015 will also be formulated at the session.
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