Tanzania ‘s medical tourism drive received a boost on Thursday, after the Ministry of Health signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Egypt’s Alameda Healthcare group, to enhance availability of specialised and super-specialised health services.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Prof Abel Makubi, said the agreement was the 7th after the government had signed similar agreements with India, Israel, Turkey, Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda.
He said the MoU with Alameda Healthcare group will enable the country to access training of medical personnel, exchange of expert skills programmes; patient referral services; and online medical consultation services (Telemedicine) from Alameda Healthcare.
Prof Makubi noted that the government would keep on investing in healthcare services as other 15 MoUs, focusing on provision of quality health services, are at various stages of negotiations.
The efforts have so far reduced the number of referrals to abroad by 95 per cent while attracting patients from neighbouring countries.
The health projects implementation is in line with the ruling CCM’s 2020-25 Election Manifesto and the Third Five-Year National Development Plan (FYDP III) which emphasises on the improvement of primary and specialised health care.
He said the government’s determination to make Tanzania a centre of excellence in provision of specialised and super-specialised health service remains intact and that it will continue making efforts in transforming the sector.
“We want to turn the country into the centre of excellence to attract patients from outside the country as a result of implementing medical tourism strategy,” he said, noting that the facilities will also maintain a role of reducing the number of Tanzanian patients seeking treatment overseas.
In line with global diplomacy, health initiatives are among the agenda, with the Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation ministry, which has staged meetings with 18 Embassies since 2021/22 and investors to motivate them to come to invest in the health sector.
So far, efforts towards implementation of medical tourism strategy have started bearing fruits as the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI) and Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute (MOI) are receiving patients from Kenya, Burundi, DRC, Malawi, Comoro and Mozambique.
The MoU with Alameda will also facilitate various super-specialties, treat patients referred from Tanzania to Alameda Healthcare facilities and provide regular feedback to the referring doctor in Tanzania for future follow-up.
“The five-year agreement will enable Tanzania to receive nursing and midwifery experts to build capacity for improving services, quality and management of hospitals’ resources to guarantee quality services,” he insisted.
For his part, Mr Neeraj Mishra, Chief Executive Officer of the Alameda Healthcare Group expressed commitment to effective implementation of the agreement which will contribute significantly to Tanzania’s development through provision of reliable and quality healthcare services by application of modern technology.
By engaging technology, they will be dealing with capacity building and upbringing young doctors.
He said the MoU will also relieve the government from spending billions of monies on referrals abroad and use those resources for other burning commitments.