GIS – 10 June, 2020: An envelope of around Rs12 billion has been earmarked in Budget 2020-2021 for the health sector for the current financial year as Government acknowledges that good health is a key driver to economic growth and an investment in human development.
The Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Kailesh Jagutpal, made this statement yesterday in the National Assembly during his intervention on budget 2020-2021 regarding the provisions made for his ministry.
According to the Minister, this amount represents 6.3 percent of total Government Expenditure adding that Per Capita public expenditure on health during Financial Year 2020-2021 will be of more than Rs 9,000.
He further pointed out that despite the unprecedented economic contraction, Government is sustaining the provision of free health services to the population and underscored that for 2019 attendances at the healthcare institutions stood at 5.2 million.
In a bid to make the healthcare system more robust and efficient, he emphasised on the setting up of state of art health infrastructure around the island to cater for the whole population. These facilities will ensure that proper health care continues to be accessible and meets the needs of the population, stressed Mr Jagutpal.
In the face of the Covid-19 situation which is causing turmoil across the world, he reassured the population that Government has left no stone unturned to curtail and contain the spread of the virus with farsighted proactive measures which have reaped positive results as the country has witnessed no local cases of Covid-19 at date.
Measures geared at encouraging the country to produce on its own have been elaborated for the health sector with the pandemic spreading from country to country, borders closing, and supplies drying up, namely the Mauritius Investment Corporation to invest in the production of pharmaceutical products which in turn will promote development of a sustainable local pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity. This measure will protect particularly fragile markets in the face of other pandemic and help in job creation.
Moreover, the ministry is working with the State Law Office in the preparation of regulations so as to fully proclaim the Human Tissue Removal, Preservation and Transplant Act of 2018.
Other Key projects:
- setting-up of a specialised Cancer hospital to the tune of Rs 1.1 billion to cater for 200 in-patients with state-of-the-art facilities and High Tech medical equipment;
- construction of a new Eye Hospital to replace the existing one at Moka at a total cost of around 21 million US Dollars;
- setting up a state-of-the-art full-fledged Teaching Hospital in Flacq for which the evaluation exercise estimated at around Rs 4 billion is under process and works are expected to start by 2021;
- construction of a new full-fledged renal transplant unit at Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital to be funded by the Government of India so that more patients could have a dialysis free life and eliminate the issue of renal impairment;
- construction of a New National Health Laboratory Services Centre at an estimated cost of about Rs 900 million for the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up on diseases which require accurate and timely laboratory services;
- construction of a modern warehouse with international standard for the storage of essential drugs, medical consumables, non-medical products and Medical Equipment to the tune of around Rs 700 million;
- Rs152 million for the construction of New Mediclinics in Quartier Militaire; Stanley; Bel Air; and Coromandel;
- Construction of Community Health Centres in the regions of; St Francois Xavier; Roche Bois; Pointe aux Sables; and Grand Baie. Furthermore, two additional Mediclinics and 4 Area Health Centres (AHC) are in the pipeline to be funded by the Government of India namely: (i) Cap Malheureux AHC; (ii) Chemin Grenier Mediclinic; (iii) Henrietta AHC; (iv) Plaine Magnien AHC; (v) Grand Bois Mediclinic; and (vi) New Grove AHC; and
- Setting up of a National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention to effectively control infectious diseases.
In a bid to decrease the prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases and decrease mortality due to diabetes, the existing tax on sugar is being doubled to encourage reducing sugar contents in products. Provision is also made for a zero-tax rated on medical, hospital and dental services for greater affordability of health services. Besides, a Health and Wellness Centre will be included at the Cote d’Or Data Technology Park.
To make consumers aware of the nutritious value of the food they purchase and consume, a mandatory labelling to indicate vegetarian food products will be introduced. In addition, a five-year Strategic Plan for the period 2020 to 2024 for the Health Sector is being developed in line with Government’s Vision 2030.