Morocco’s health sector will “not be the same” after the COVID-19 pandemic, said the minister of health.
Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of Health Khalid Ait Taleb detailed on Monday a program to improve the health sector and safely resume regular health services in the country after the COVID-19 pandemic comes under control.
The Ministry of Health’s “integrated program” aims to meet the needs of the population, said the Minister of Labor and Professional Integration, Mohamed Amekraz, on behalf of Ait Taleb at the House of Representatives on June 22.
“Equality and consistency in the resumption of activities and the continuity of health services” are at the heart of the plan, Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) quoted Amekraz as saying.
The strategy is “based on the safety of health professionals,” the gradual resumption of activities, and the ability to “adapt to containment lifting plans,” the labor minister added.
The strategy also considers the possibility of returning to sanitary confinement depending on the evolution of the public health situation in Morocco.
“As part of its forecasts based on the evolution of the epidemiological curve in the coming weeks, the [Ministry of Health] worked on a strategic plan to support the gradual lifting of containment but also to mitigate the impact of the spread of the virus in the short term, based on five foundations,” the statement continued.
One pillar includes a “massive reinforcement” of Moroccan laboratories to further the national goal of conducting 1.915 million COVID-19 tests by the end of July.
The foundations also include monitoring and preserving stocks of drugs, pharmaceuticals, and medical supplies to ensure public hospitals are prepared for the total lifting of lockdown.
Additionally, the ministry vowed to carry out “rigorous monitoring of the epidemiological situation in order to avoid any possible new wave” of COVID-19.
The strategic plan also involves raising awareness of essential health and safety measures such as social distancing and the wearing of face masks even after the lockdown has been lifted.
The strategy’s implementation
The strategy to resume regular health services post-lockdown is based on several indicators, the statement continued. Ait Taleb stressed the importance of a decline in the virus’s reproduction rate and the ratio of active infections, which should ideally be less than three for every 100,000 inhabitants.
The occupancy rate of hospital beds devoted to COVID-19 patients should be no less than 65%, he added.
Ait Taleb affirmed that the health sector in Morocco “will not be the same after the pandemic.” The sector’s restructuring “will take into account the High Royal Directives, the Sustainable Development Goals leading up to 2030, and the recommendations of the various constitutional institutions.”
The Ministry of Health has developed a “strategic vision to improve the quality of public healthcare” in Morocco, the statement continued.
The ministry’s priorities for the future of Morocco’s health sector include renewing citizens’ confidence in the country’s health system, developing national public health law, and preparing a regional health program to “fill the gaps noted in terms of the organization of the supply of care in certain regions.”
The health minister’s statement underscored his commitment to the national plan to expand healthcare to more than 64% of the population in 2021 and to providing equitable access to health services for all citizens. Improving maternal and newborn health is “a national strategic priority,” he added.
Minister Amekraz announced on June 2 that Morocco is in the process of implementing a project to expand health insurance and pension coverage for independent workers. The program targets more than five million independent workers and is set to bring the total number of health insurance and pension system beneficiaries in Morocco to 11 million.