Health waste increases spending

Doctor Doctors hospital
Nurses walk in the corridors of an Amman hospital. (File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Health waste caused by a fragmented and mismanaged health sector hiked spending to a level exceeding 8 percent of the gross domestic product annual, said the head of the Amman Group for Future Dialogues, Bilal Al-Tal. اضافة اعلان

Tal’s comment came during a press conference entitled “Announcing the Study of Waste in the Jordanian Health Sector”.

The study stated that the percentage is likely to increase, if the waste continues without a solution in the offing.

The study showed that the size of the waste is partly due a fragmented health sector, which is seen as depriving many Jordanians of satisfactory healthcare services.

Tal pointed out that waste causes an “injustice and imbalance in providing equal health care services to all citizens, because some of those who pay nothing, often benefit from the system”. He attributed the shortcoming on oversight, and the absence of the rule of law.

The rapporteur of the group’s health team, Mohammad Rasoul Al-Tarawneh, told Jordan News that the study showed that the “multiplicity of different health insurance programs makes the general framework of Jordanian health insurance ineffective”.

He confirmed that the study stated that a large percentage of the insured have coverage from more than one health insurance company.

“As for uninsured Jordanians, they receive a subsidized price estimated at 20 percent of the cost in exchange for specific inpatient and outpatient services in the facilities of the Ministry of Health, or they bear the cost of health care,” he said.

The study also pointed to a “waste” in health cadres resulting from mismanagement. He explained that human resources are managed in a haphazard manner, which results in poor productivity and inefficiency, low quality service, high operational costs, and little  competitiveness.

Tarawneh said that the study stated that one of the causes of waste is the lack of, or weak application of legislation and policies regulating the work of health cadres, and the imbalance of health education outcomes between supply and demand.

General Surgeon Mohammad Daamsa said that health waste takes place in several forms, including misdistribution of medicines and competencies, and a lack of good quality health care service.

He told Jordan News that decrepit management in the health sector culminated in this waste, whereas the patient feels the absence of adequate health care services.

He explained that a doctor “gives little time to patients, a situation, which leads to forcing the patient to undergo more laboratory tests, or taking more medication”.

Former minister of health Mamdouh Al-Abbadi told Jordan News that the biggest challenge facing the health sector is the “weakness of the budget”.

Abbadi, who in 2017 headed a committee to rationize spending and comprehensively improve the health sector, said: “After working on the plan for several months, it remained as it is, without any action on the ground.”

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