Minister of Health, Sylvia Masebo, says government has plans to upgrade some hospitals to general hospital level.
Ms Masebo said the upgrading of the hospitals is an ongoing programme and a good number of them have already been upgraded.
She said this during the question for oral answers session in parliament yesterday.
Ms Masebo was responding to Kalabo Central Member of Parliament, Chinga Miyutu, who wanted to know whether the government has any plans to upgrade some hospitals to general hospital level.
The minister stated that the exact number of hospitals that will be upgraded will only be established once the exercise aimed at determining which health institution should be upgraded is completed.
“Mini hospitals are basically what you would call a health center, be it in the urban or rural areas. A general hospital is way above the district hospital, so you will have initially at the lowest level what you would call a health post and health centres which are slightly bigger than urban and rural health centres,” she explained.
Ms Masebo added that each level of a hospital has its own specific function in terms of service delivery and treatments.
She further explained that a mini hospital deals with minor health issues while a general hospital deals with major health operations hence the need to have a system of health delivery that will reduce congestion in the big hospitals.
She explained that there is need for a referral system that helps in managing cases in a manner that does not put pressure on the higher level.
The minister further explained that government feels the need to improve the smaller hospitals because they are at the preventive level which helps in preventing illnesses from escalating.
Ms Masebo said there is also need to ensure that each district has all the levels of health service delivery from health post to the general hospital.
She further disclosed that factors such as population, necessary equipment, human resource and many other reasons lead certain hospitals to being upgraded.