ADDIS ABABA – Twenty five years ago, Ethiopia used to have less than 100 hospitals but now it has three times as much.
Similarly, the number of health stations was around 1400, but now it has shot up to over 3000. The figure regarding health institutions is also snowballing.
The Ethiopian Herald had approached pertinent bodies about their say regarding whether health institutions are expanding and developing enough to citizens' satisfaction when it comes to numbers and modern technological equipment.
Health institutions are dramatically rippling across the country. Even health institutions are being furnished with modern and health materials,disclosed Ministry of Health (MoH).
Dr Yibelital Mekonin Clinical Service Directorate Acting Director within MoH told to The Ethiopian Herald that, the health institutions coverage in the nation is about 85% - 90%. For about 100 million people, there are over 3620 health stations, 18,000 health-post. Also there are about 400 governmental hospitals in the country. From these about 28 give advanced medical service. The others are the first level and state hospitals.
Citizens are getting relatively better services from the institutions as Dr Yibelital said. In the health-post and health stations,basic services are being given like communicable and non communicable disease medication, mothers and children services included. The first level hospitals also give basic and emergency services including surgery services.
The higher hospitals give services on maternal, child and other surgery and internal illness . Different sub specialty and supper specialty like cancer and heart case services are given through tertiary level hospitals or they will be rendered by federal and referral universities, mentions the acting director.
He does not conceal the need to renovate old and dilapidated institutions to strengthen them so that they pass the basic quality assurance test. Also strengthening health post is required.
Asegid Bekele health institutions inspection coordinator within The Federal Food, Medicine and Health Care Administration and control Authority (FMHACA) said that, it cannot be said works done are enough.
Regarding the fulfillment of necessary equipment, drug supply and experts of the sector, FMHACA conducted an assessment at a national level and identified the presence of a gap in the sector.
Stakeholders have already discussed on the research and they are taking actions to fill gaps, as to the coordinator. Specially there is a call for addressing on equipment maintenance problem and human power.
Asegid added that, institutions which cannot meet the standard were made out of service. The punitive measure would be temporal or on limited services, the FMHACA gives them time to fill their gaps. Otherwise the license of institutions which are treats for the communities health will be revoked.
Dr Yibelital said that regarding health materials, the MoH is striving to render the country's health sector modern. For special medication including mechanical ventilator and others materials useful in IC room are available. This special medical materials all are made available in about 30 institutions. They have already began giving services.
He said works are underway to have two surgery tables in one institution. City-scan and MRI,useful for a special test will be made available in states and in Addis.
On his part Zenebe Akale Mather's and Youth's Health Group Coordinator for Maternal and Children Directorate within the Ministry added that to emerge successful in decreasing maternal mortality rate, the increment of health institutions and the availability of technological equipment play great role. Human development in the sector and assurance of accountability are the other means.
To make the sector more modern and accessible for societies, as the acting director said, collaborating with stakeholders MoH has a plan to increase the number and fulfill every modern and big materials states need. The same must be done for federal hospitals and other health institutions.
BY GENET FEKADE