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Examining health systems challenges and possible mitigation strategies in the face of an economic crisis in Swaziland

Mndzebele, Samuel (2011): Examining health systems challenges and possible mitigation strategies in the face of an economic crisis in Swaziland.

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Abstract

Background: Evidence suggests that growth in a country’s Gross National Products does improve life expectancy only when substantial funds are directed towards healthcare and poverty eradication in society. The economic crisis currently faced by Swaziland has a potential of impacting negatively on her healthcare system, hence the need for drawing-up mitigation strategies.

Purpose: To examine the healthcare system in the face of the economic crisis in Swaziland with the aim of drawing-up appropriate socio-economic mitigation strategies in response to the current challenges.

Approach: The exercise engaged a descriptive approach through a three-level conceptual model that first examined the current health systems, leading to the analysis of possible health implications. The last phase involved drawing-up appropriate socio-economic mitigation strategies.

Health challenges and implications: The Ministry of Health in Swaziland is already struggling to make significant strides in implementing key projects through her primary healthcare strategies as enshrined in the National Health policy of 2007. Of paramount importance is the impact on the comprehensive implementation of her annual action plan and the national health sector strategic plan (2008 -2013). Envisaged implications include the current threat on the capacity surrounding the management of HIVAIDS in the country.

Conclusion (mitigation strategies): There is a strong need for the government of Swaziland and the Ministry of Health to act decisively in ensuring that health financing policies are reviewed and re-strategized to mitigate the economic impact on critical services within the department.

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