Business interests in the health sector should be minimized

By Guardian Correspondent , The Guardian
Published at 02:02 PM Mar 26 2024
National Health Insurance Fund
Photo: Courtesy of Tanzania Health Insurance Fund
National Health Insurance Fund

PREVENTION is better than cure. This English saying suggests regular medical check-up to increase the possibility of retaining a good health which is an asset.

Human beings prefer good services but sometimes they cannot afford it. There are times when the situation does not suggest a possibility of getting what you desire this is when quietness and a moment of inactivity characterize people’s lives.

In recent years we have witnessed some challenges in the health sector which up to now have not been solved adequately. There are hospitals which could not be in harmony with the new health benefit packages announced by the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), thus breaching contracts by temporarily suspending services to NHIF members. When business in the health sector collides it is normal citizens who get into trouble.

It is impossible to conduct any business without any promise of a gain of a kind. The gain motivates the undertakings making the services promising. What is important is to consider the economic status of the majority of Tanzanians. 

Social welfare of any country cannot be expressed in isolation with health services. The government is hailed when her people are of good health. But due to critical evaluation of operations of governments of the world it becomes next to impossible for the government to operate without the private sector.

The number of Tanzanians who are in need of medical services is huge that the government alone cannot attend them. The inability of the government as it is the case of other countries is to provide health services to all people as well as giving an opportunity to the private sector to provide medical services. 

It is indubitable that any business requires profit but much profit should not be expected from the health sector.

Nursing and treating people should be considered as avocation. When the spirit of helping to save lives fades in the society we may experience a lot of challenges in the health sector. Business interests should not be allowed to dominate the sector which carries hope of the people.

Medical technology and experts in the health sector are expensive to afford but there should be some efforts to prevent the desire to make the health sector an official business platform. 

Private hospitals should get satisfied with the minimum profit just to keep them operating and not enriching some individuals. There are some lucrative business such as selling minerals that one could have ventured into to make huge amounts of money but not in the health sector which carries destiny of the people. 

The value for life should be emphasized and hence being able to receive good health services at a reasonable price and hence making the country benefit in the following ways.

One of the benefits of good health services at a reasonable cost is saving lives of many people. Life is among the precious gifts given to us by God and therefore it is a wise decision struggling to save it. 

When costs of medical services are affordable people are less stressed when they get sick. Doctors and nurses should be proud of saving lives as that is what they vowed for. They should long for social significance that they will retain if they treat well patients making them regain their strength.

Another benefit of good health services which are affordable is promoting economic growth. For the country to excel economically, it needs healthy individuals who can work effectively. These healthy individuals are the results of good health services which must be affordable. 

Business interests should not be allowed to reduce the possibility of having healthy individuals by some individuals considering the health sector as a platform for profit making. Health sector is the pillar of social welfare which is attained by economic production which requires healthy individuals.

Also good health services which are not so expensive help to reduce the dependence ratio. It is encouraging when an individual can work for himself rather than waiting for assistance from others. 

The possibility of having individuals who can work on their own is due to availability of health services. There should be efforts to prevent individuals from becoming dependents by making medical services accessible and affordable. 

There is a great connection between productivity and health of an individual. It is good health services which are affordable that can help reduce the dependence ratio.

Again, good health services which are affordable help to attain social stability. High costs of medical services sometimes create some challenges among relatives who nurse their fellow. People may get into conflicts as they have to provide money which they do not have. 

If the medical services become affordable some challenges like those will be solved. Failure to finance medical services makes individuals frustrated something which can cause them other health problems. This makes it necessary for the government and other people with good will to rethink of how the health sector should be organized.

The modern medical services are expensive though they are useful. There must be efforts to reduce the costs of medical services regarding the fact that the financial strength of many Tanzanians is not so promising. Health centres and hospitals should aim at generating a minimal profit to make the operations continue and not aiming at creating wealth. Health is a value.

The author is a teacher based in Moshi. He can be reached at [email protected]