Zambian doctors in Turkey to learn about Universal Health Coverage

University Teaching Hospital
University Teaching Hospital

A five-member Zambian Ministry of Health delegation and a World Bank-Zambia office official is in Turkey to learn best practices for achieving universal health coverage in Zambia and implementation of a Public Health Insurance Scheme as a tool for domestic resource mobilisation.

Ministry of Health Director-Special Duties Mpuma Kamanga, who is the delegation leader, said the visit is aimed at learning how Turkey has undertaken transformative reforms towards improving health services and achieving universal health coverage.
Dr Kamanga said the delegation hoped to gather lessons that will help Zambia leapfrog some of the challenges faced during the current transformative processes in the quest to achieve universal health coverage.

Dr. Kamanga said this yesterday when he briefed Chargé d’Affaires at the Zambian Embassy in Turkey, Bwalya Nondo, on the objectives on the delegation’s visit to Turkey.

“The Patriotic Front (PF) Government under His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, is pursuing a transformative agenda to strengthen health systems using the primary healthcare approach.

“In this approach, we hope to improve the quality of care in our pursuit towards universal health coverage. This agenda is premised on a balanced approach to health covering prevention, promotion, curative services, palliative and rehabilitative services,” Dr Kamanga said.

He also said Government would like to see a healthcare workforce, which is developed at scale to deal with the disease burden and focused towards providing primary healthcare services.He also said Government is determined to have a robust healthcare financing strategy in which universal health coverage and financial protection will be emphasized.

“As part of these financial reforms, we hope to introduce a national social health insurance scheme to supplement current resources in the healthcare sector and a supply chain system that ensures availability of quality assured essential medicines at all levels of care,” Dr Kamanga said.

He also said Government is investing in specialists, primary healthcare services and equitable investment in infrastructure in rural areas of all the 10 provinces of Zambia.

Dr Kamanga said this will result in reduced distances to health facilities, improved access to healthcare services and reduction of requirements for treatment abroad.

On the Public Health Insurance Scheme, Dr Kamanga said there is need to improve domestic resource mobilisation for the health sector.
He said according to the last national health accounts, over 50 percent of resources used in the health sector are foreign resources.

“Going forward as we attained low middle-income status, the level of support may not grow or continue at the same level when we were a least developed country. So it requires us to think more innovatively about how we can raise revenue locally to support this agenda of increasing resources at the frontline, increasing the staffing, the quality of care, the availability of medication, using more domestic resources,” Dr Kamanga said.

He said apart from tax revenue, Government is exploring ways of introducing a Public Health Insurance Scheme as an innovation to enhance domestic resource mobilisation to support the health sector.

He said this will be part of a holistic financing strategy to protect people from huge payments at the time of seeking healthcare.
Dr Kamanga also said Government sees the Public Health Insurance Scheme as a catalyst for public private partnerships (PPP) because citizens will be able to get health insurance and have a greater choice in terms of accessing both private and public healthcare.
And Mr Nondo said health is an important variable for socio-economic development and that the delegation was in the right country to learn best practices on how to elevate the sector to the next level of development.

He said Turkey has paid a lot of attention to developing the health sector and ensure that all its citizens have access to quality healthcare services.

Others in the delegation are Ministry of Health Deputy Director –Maternal Health, Dr Angel Mwiche, who is also Zambia Health Services Improvement Project (ZHSIP) Co-ordinator, Ministry of Health Director Healthcare Financing, Dr Anita Kaluba, World Bank Group Senior Physician Specialist Dr Musonda Rosemary Sunkutu and Ministry of Health Deputy Director –Planning and Budgeting Henry Kansembe.

Issued by:
Jerry Munthali

First Secretary (Press)


  1. This is should be supported and every Zambian abroad or at home should contribute into this Universal medical scheme.

    • They are getting drunk! I met a Zambian doctor in Prague on a conference. The man was drunk and chain smoking like there’s no tomorrow.

  2. This is excellent. This is what Government is all about, not Article whatever just abusing authority and intimidating Political opponents. Forget that rubbish. Health and Education must be governments priority. Next school fees should be abolished. Then we can all vote for Lungu next time.

  3. WHAT IS IN TURKEY that we cannot learn from MALAWI OUR GOOD NEIGHBOUR? How the hell u go to turkey when mahule ba ku turkey are busy selling their tuma things in China at 100yuan a jab

  4. Also to be noted is what other African countries are doing:
    The One Health Regional Network for the Horn of Africa (HORN) will bring together partners from Liverpool, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea to train local scientists, conduct research, and take advantage of a state of the art biosciences hub in Nairobi (ILRI-BecA) to allow African researchers to access a technology usually only found in developed countries. k. Livestock sustain people by providing them with food, draft power and income. But they also pose risks because they can transmit infectious diseases.

  5. Zambia is falling behind on Malaria reseach, and other curable diseases…! government should encourage more collaboration

  6. But construct a better hospital, we dont need a new state house we need a new UTH. Zambian doctors prefer working aboard because in Zambia you dont provide them with medicine or equipments. Ministers rush to South Africa for treat and you want to condemn Doctors for go abroad. If I was a doctor I would do the same.

    • Spot on…! In Zambia, hospitals are so ill-equipped that we doctors cannot deliver full potention. Most of the Zambian doctors are locuming abroad. Zambian hospitals need medical equipment, such as laboratory equipment and instrumentation, CT scanning equipment and MRI scanners. We need more laboratories. We need more pharmacies (not just those privately run on corner street). Within the hospital we need proper pharmacies and diagnostic laboratories

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