Briefing Paper

Healthcare Delivery Environment and Performance in Tanzania

Good health is indispensable towards promoting the wellbeing of people as well as the nation’s development. Tanzania like many other developing countries, has marked health as a priority matter that needs much attention. As the nation strives to make access to health care inclusive to the entire population, it has adopted various initiatives such as the Big Results Now, MKUKUTA, and the first and second Five Year Development Plans, which collectively operationalize the National Development Vision 2025. Further, Tanzania is also implementing the Health Sector Strategic Plan 2015 – 2020 (HSSP IV) with focus on improving the performance of health facilities and staffs as well as ensuring adequate supply and availability of drugs and health sector staffs. In line with enhancement of Universal Health Coverage, the government has made substantial progress in the health sector through decentralization of primary health care system, improvement in the health financing system, including the establishment of the Community Health Funds which have paved the way for smooth supply and demand for quality health services in the country. The health financing system of Tanzania depends primarily on tax revenues, support from the development partners; out-of-pocket payments, private and social insurance for the health service users. Public health expenditure as percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has increased from 2.5 percent in 2012/13 to 3.5 percent in 2015/16. Despite the various efforts and the diverse sources of health sector financing, there are still challenges that impact on access and quality of health services. The health sector is still faced with inadequate fully trained health staff, limited public health financing, poor infrastructure and long distance to the health care facilities. Even worse, there is still a wide disparity towards quality access to health services between urban and rural residents and between the rich and the poor. This brief provides findings in the health sector, covering the three areas; inputs, competencies and commitments.