Health ministry gets patients’ views on service through World Bank study


Economist Sawkut Rojid making a presentation to Ministry of Health officials

The results of the study were presented to Ministry of Health officials in a meeting on Thursday at the Sheikh Khalifa diagnostic centre, in the presence of Minister Mitcy Larue, special advisor Peggy Vidot and other senior health officials and members of the management.

The World Bank team present include economist Sawkut Rojid, senior health economist Netsanet Workie, economist and health human resource Christ Herbst, and lead health economist Adbo Yazbeck.

In their findings, the team said Seychelles has largely achieved the health millennium development goals, the burden of disease has now shifted to non communicable, and there has been no change in the leading causes of death between 2003 and 2011, which are cardiovascular, cancers, and respiratory diseases which accounts for about 60% of all deaths.

The study also showed a high teenage pregnancy rate, with 32% of all first pregnancies occurring among the 15-19 age group, but also a high and increasing abortion rate among the 15-19 age group.

There was feedback from the public about their opinions on the health system, where it was seen that most of the people who use the health services do so at clinics. Most people who travel to a clinic reach there in 30 minutes or less, and nearly 70% of patients waited 30 minutes or less to be seen by a health worker.

About 80% of patients spent 10 minutes or less with a health worker, to which Minister Larue said the trend needed to be changed, with more focus on communication and more time spent on examining patients. The main reason given by those who took part in the study for going to private clinics was better services, and shorter waiting times.

In terms of expenditures, the study showed that the total public health expenditure has not increased, and that the biggest part of funds spent was on salaries and medicines. 

The Seychelles Hospital alone took about 60% of total public health expenditure, but that in real terms salary has not increased and the number of health workers has decreased since the reform.

As for health workers, the study said that Seychelles has far more health workers than possibly needed to achieve the same outcome, and that the vast majority (61%) of health workers are located in the Seychelles Hospital. The number of retirees will double in 10 years time and triple in 20 years time, while health workers plan to leave the country at an annual rate of about 5% (doctors 10%), and 26% of health workers plan to switch to non-health work within five years for higher earnings.

Speaking to the press afterwards, Ms Vidot said that the ministry has appreciated getting feedback from the public and that they would work on the overall objectives, which are to improve the efficiency of public spending on health and focus on behaviour change.