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Budget 2016-2017 Highlights: A 12% increase in health budget to secure an efficient and effective health care system

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Budget 2016-2017 Highlights: A 12% increase in health budget to secure an efficient and effective health care system

Health is vital to happiness, prosperity and productivity, and consequently several actions will be implemented to secure an efficient and effective health care system, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Jugnauth underlined in the 2016-2017 Budget speech. A sum of Rs 10.9 billion has been earmarked for the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life in the present budget. This represents an increase of 12 % over last year’s allocation.

Government will invest in the expansion of the Cardiac Centre at the Victoria Hospital so as to reduce the waiting list for heart surgery, the construction of a new Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) hospital at Vacoas, and in major renovation and upgrading works at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (SSR) National Hospital, which are expected to cost Rs 121 million. Moreover, technical studies will be carried out on the construction of a new modern eye hospital at Moka and of a regional hospital at Flacq.

Measures were announced regarding cancer prevention and treatment. New services will be provided to improve palliative care for cancer patients and a vaccination programme will be introduced as a preventive measure against cervical cancer.

The Budget also makes provision of funds for consultancy work on the setting up of a state-of-the-art National Health Laboratory Services. In addition, some Rs 250 million will be dedicated to new high tech medical equipment and Rs 25 million to the setting up of three new dialysis units at Long Mountain Community Hospital, SSR National Hospital and Dr A. Gaffoor Jeetoo Regional Hospital.

With a view to increase medical workforce supply, Mr Jugnauth announced the recruitment of 310 additional doctors, 255 paramedical staff and an additional 570 supporting personnel.

The Finance Minister stated that Government is also promoting private health care, in particular medical tourism, which has a significant spill over on overall health care in the country. “In the same vein, we will encourage the setting up of residential care homes for foreign retirees,” he said.

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