August 19, 2016

Myanmar sees increase in health care spending, British research firm says

SPENDING on public health services in Myanmar has risen this year as the government moves ahead with its plan to provide health care coverage to all citizens by 2030, a UK-based research firm has confirmed.
In its recent news update the Oxford Business Group, a British company that produces detailed analysis of yearly finances in 32 countries stressed the need to significantly increase spending on health care and related infrastructure in rural areas which are home to roughly 70 percent of the country’s total population of 51 million.
Higher budget allocation for health spending, US$ 592.3 million, represents an almost 7 percent increase over last year’s budget. The increase is in line with the government’s planned funding increase for the financial year.
The Group quoted local media reporting that the increased funds are earmarked for the purchase of advanced medical equipment like electro-surgical technology and the provision of free medical treatment for government employees.
The government plans to begin training some 5,600 medical professionals and 1,300 nurses over the course of the current budget cycle to address the disparity in the number of healthcare professionals versus number of patients requiring care, it said.
The firm pointed out that the country currently has fewer doctors per capita than other nations in the region.
According to the World Health Organisation there are 6.1 doctors per 10,000 people in Myanmar compared to 11.9 in Vietnam, 19.5 in Singapore and 23 in Japan.
On private sector potential the report found that the demand for private health services is expected to rise in tandem with government health spending.
With the gradual emergence of a middle class that offers a wide pool of potential customers to advanced medical services and a rapid influx of foreign tourists and expats there has been a growing demand on the country’s private health care sector, it said.
The group expects to see a reduced outflows of those seeking care overseas as domestic facilities and services improve and specialised treatment options expand.
According to sources at home health care expenditure, which is currently set at around $30 per capita is expected to reach $200 within the next decade as the provision of state health care funding increases in the future.


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