Ministry of Health launches HSSP 3 to improve health care services in the country


The Ministry of Health launched the 3rd Health Sector Strategic Plan (HSSP lll) to improve efficiency and effectiveness in health care service delivery at all levels of care. 

The HSSP lll transformation agenda focuses on health financing, health infrastructure, and service delivery, healthcare workforce, medical equipment, and supplies, digital data management, and leadership and governance.

Speaking at the launch, Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, said upon the successful implementation of the HSSP lll in 2030, they expect a reduction of under 5 mortality rate from 56 to 15 per 1000 live births, a reduction of maternal mortality rate from 349 to 213 per 100,000 live births, reduction of HIV prevalence from 8.7 % to 7% and increased life expectancy at birth from 64 years of age to 70 years.

Under HSSP III, the Ministry of Health wants to push the health budget for every person annually from the current K68,000 to K292,000 through an improved health financing system.

According to Chiponda, currently, the health service bill for every Malawian per year totals K68 000 on average and this is against the K170 000 recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“The HSSP III will require MK32 trillion in the eight-year period to be fully implemented and each year, every person will be required a total of MK292,400 for health. We therefore have an annual shortfall of MK 224, 400 per person. Worryingly, we are not guaranteed of continued donor funding throughout the implementation period of the HSSP III. We must, therefore, strive to take charge of financing our health system,” said Chiponda.

On health financing, the ministry has developed a Health Financing Strategy that will help the ministry to narrow the gap between the expenditure and what they need.

Chiponda highlighted that her Ministry will focus more on domestic resources for health and these resources will be obtained through the implementation of different mechanisms.

“Some of the mechanisms include introducing earmarked taxes for health and the strategy suggests adding a value-added tax on all commodities with negative health externalities. These include petroleum products, alcohol, cigarettes, and motor vehicle insurance. The non-tax sources include a percentage of the road levies.

“Other mechanisms include public-private engagement that will implement formal PPPs and the establishment of a national health fund through which partners and the Government will pool their health funding to minimize fragmentation of resources and the implementation of direct resource transfers from the national health fund to the health facilities. This will ensure equitable distribution of resources and promote efficiency in resource utilization,” she explained.

In his remarks, Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) Executive Director Goerge Jobe, said as a Civil Society, they are in full support of the upcoming policies and they were part of the formulation.

“We have been part and parcel of the development of the health sector strategic plan 3 and we can say that part of what has been disclosed came from the input of Civil Society organisations. 

“Our interest as Civil Society organizations is that there should be prudent management of resources especially those that are sourced locally at health facilities and also there should be more ways of ensuring that we have more resources in the health sector to go beyond the Abuja declaration that we have been requesting government to reach,” said Jobe.