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Media personnel briefed on 2015 National Health Account

Aug 24, 2016, 11:43 AM | Article By: Isatou Senghore-Njie

Journalists from print and electronic media houses were yesterday briefed on the 2015 National Health Accounts (NHA).

NHA is a survey that the Ministry of Health intends to embark on in collaboration with its development partners starting this month, August, and will last for three months.

Speaking at the press briefing held at NaNA conference hall, Gibril Jarju, deputy director of Planning and Information, said healthcare systems in all countries including The Gambia continue to evolve in response to changing demographics and disease patterns, rapid technological advances, and more and more complex financing and delivery mechanisms.

“In striving towards some of the common health care system goals of equity, efficiency and effectiveness of care, one of the key questions for policymakers is ‘How much do we spend on health and is it measured in a comparable way?” he said.

Mr Jarju said to meet the increasing demands of analysts and policymakers for such health expenditure information, System of Health Accounts (SHA) proposed a framework for the systematic description of the financial flows related to healthcare.

He explained that the aim of SHA is to describe the healthcare system from an expenditure perspective both for international and national purposes.

Similarly, National Health Accounts is a framework for tracking the flow of all health funds (public, private, households, and donor) in a country. It is intended to inform policy process.

Research has shown that over the past two decades, more than 100 low and middle-income countries (27 of them in Africa) have conducted NHA estimations that generated evidence for country-level policy decision-making as well as for cross country comparisons.

“Now, many countries including The Gambia are trying to institutionalise the NHA methodology so that they can carry out the exercise on a regular basis and report on health financing trends,” the deputy director of Planning and Information said.

Modou Njai, director of Health Promotion and Education Directorate, called on the media to share the findings of the 2015 NHA survey result.

Vincent Mendy, project coordinating unit, said the NHA provide a systematic description of the financial flows related to the consumption of healthcare products and to develop reliable and timely data that is comparable both across countries and over time.

It also offers comprehensive reviews of health expenditures from their financing sources to their end users.

NHA, according to Mendy, also helps in tracking public, private and donor expenditure on health by addressing several sets of questions.