By Olfa Andolsi.
Tunis, 11 October 2017:
Moves to ensuring that the national health service is fully and effectively funded have taken a step forward with the establishment by the Presidency Council (PC) of a general health insurance organisation. The PC decree was made on 28 September but only published yesterday.
The organisation, which will be headquartered in Tripoli but allowed to have branches elsewhere in the country, will be an independent financial authority. Its board of directors is yet to be decided.
The announcement is not seen as creating a national health insurance authority but rather a body which will initially work out how universal healthcare free at the point of use can be paid for, and most efficiently.
It is part of a series of health service reforms that the PC aims to produce. The health insurance announcement coincided with another setting up a general healthcare council.
Taking practical and immediate measures on the ground, the PC has meanwhile allocated LD 2.5 million to Kabaw hospital to upgrade the operating room and the intensive care unit. It has also authorised the health ministry to contract directly with foreign companies for AIDS and hepatitis drugs. Additionally it has allocated LD 1 million to the Centre for Communicable Diseases and Immunology in Benghazi for the treatment of children with AIDS.
In a separate move, the National Centre for Disease Control has announced a national vaccination campaign against polio, measles, mumps and erysipelas. It will run from 28 October until 2 November.