By Adama Tine
The Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Mamburay Njie, while tabling the Appropriation Bill, 2022 Budget Speech at the National Assembly on Thursday, revealed that The Gambia has recently signed a grant financing of $50 million with the World Bank for the Additional Financing of Essential Health Services Strengthening Project.
“This financing of the project will go towards improving the quality of essential Primary Health Care Services delivery using a results- based financing approach; community engagements to improve utilization of quality health services and building resilient and sustainable health systems to support the delivery of quality health services,” he added.
According to him, with support from the World Bank, the government is in the process of building new health care facilities to better respond to future emergencies.
The Finance Minister said the Ministry of Health is drafting the Health Policy 2021-2030 and the Strategic Plan 2021-2025. The policy he said, will guide the ministry in its efforts to strengthen health services and also make them more affordable and accessible to all without compromising quality. He added that the health sector is at an advanced stage to introduce the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for the first time in the history of the country.
The scheme he highlighted will serve as a sustainable health financing mechanism in the country and it is expected to improve access to safe quality health care services, affordable medication as well as serve as a social safety net for the poor and vulnerable.
“The Covid-19 crisis has shown us how vital it is to have a strong supply chain management system that can continue to guarantee the delivery of essential health commodities,” he stated.
The Finance Minister further disclosed that, as part of Covid-19 relief support, The Gambia received medical supplies worth over D31 million through the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund set up by the People’s Republic of China.