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Medical Plaza service standardization approved

Avatar: Nigist Berta
Nigist Berta October 28, 2021
City: Addis AbabaNews
Medical Plaza service standardization approved

The Ethiopian Standards Agency Council, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, has approved the mandatory quality standards of Medical Plaza Service in consultation with all stakeholders in the field, Director of the agency Yilma Mengistu told Addis Zeybe.

Medical Plaza is a multidisciplinary medical system that converges a wide range of medical services under one roof, where patients will find different types of health care amenities like internal medicine, eye health care, dental clinic, dermatology, pharmacy, and so on. In the service, it is intended to enhance patient experience and deliver integrated medical facilities in a venue.

According to the director,  the quality of the service that is set to be effective in the experience of different parts of the world is also approved in Ethiopia

“As we can see from the experience of the rest of the world, if the dispersed health services can congregate together in a  Medical Plaza, it will significantly improve access to medical services, enrich the quality of medical services, and enable the provision of a particular health service with an affordable price. Moreover, it will substantially reduce the cost of construction, in-patient service costs, human resource management, among others.” 

In the standard that is set all medical services must be incorporated in order for a standard Medical Plaza to be established in accordance with the Council’s directives.   

Responding to the question as to how the Agency would monitor service provider’s compliance, the director responded, "There are two things in the rating system; one is to meet the Medical Plaza standards and the other is the professional quality assurance that follows  certification that ensures the implementation of the standard” 

The Ministry of Health will enforce the Medical Plaza standardization and certification. Therefore, it is the ministry that will continue to monitor and maintain the status quo and will only engage with the Agency if there are any adjustments needed in the process and it will be adjusted by the ESA in cooperation with other concerned parties.

Speaking on behalf of medical professionals, Dr. Anania Abate, Secretary-General of the Ethiopian Medical Association and Head of Anesthesia department at the Black Lion Hospital told Addis Zeybe that,  “It has been studied for a long time what medical plaza can contribute to the health sector. And now, since  the standard is up, it will be easier to take the next step.” 

Dr. Anania advises that public-private partnerships need to be implemented in the health sector, avoiding the prejudice that the private sector will corrupt the service. Thus, the public health media, policymakers, administrators, and the community shall take part in influencing the government in this direction.

On the other hand, Dr. Meron Yakob, Vice President of the Ethiopian Private Physicians Association, said, “The association does not support the operations of medical facilities that provide the most expensive services. However, since there is no doubt that the private sector will play a major role in the Medical Plaza, we intend to create an integrated service delivery system”

She also highlighted that the government can play a pivotal role in directing the private sector to provide affordable prices, more importantly, specialized medical services. 

“The cost of land and construction is expensive. There are no subsidies for medical services. This will lead to a high price tag that will eventually go down to the users. When we move to build a medical plaza, we need help from the government, so that prices can be controlled. In this way, it will be possible to make the health community better.”

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A PIECE BYNigist Berta

Nigist works at Addis Zeybe as a reporter while exploring her passion for storytelling and content creation.