Cooperation with the private sector for improved health services

Project description

Title: Tanzanian-German Programme to Support Health – thematic area: Cooperation with the private sector
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Tanzania
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Health and Social Welfare
Overall term: 2003 to 2016

Context

The importance of the private sector for Tanzania’s health system is widely acknowledged. More than a quarter of the country’s health care services are delivered by private providers, most of which are faith-based organisations. A lack of cooperation between the government and the private sector is a missed opportunity to effect improvements to services. To encourage effective partnerships of this kind, dialogue and networking between the public and private sectors are essential.

Objective

Improved cooperation between the public and private sectors is improving people’s access to quality healthcare, particularly in rural areas.

Approach

In collaboration with other development partners, the project supports the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in its public-private dialogue, the purpose of which is to help improve the delivery of healthcare services and increase access to them. It promotes the continued evaluation and development of existing partnerships. One example of such partnerships are the service agreements local authorities have signed with private hospitals to provide free access to their services for pregnant women and children under five years of age. These services are financed with government grants.

In addition, the project encourages private sector investments in healthcare. Here, the partnerships pave the way for health promotion activities and health insurance schemes for employees and their families, as well as for casual workers.

Results achieved so far

Since April 2014 the Public Private Health Forum, to the development of which the project contributed, has provided a dialogue platform for public and private stakeholders in the health sector.

Some 28 service agreements have been signed in the project regions of Tanga, Mbeya and Lindi, ensuring free access to private hospitals for pregnant women and children under five if they do not live near a public hospital.

With the support of private enterprises, more than 30,000 informal sector workers and their families have been enrolled in community health funds, and are therefore protected them from financial ruin if they should fall ill.