Health in Morocco: a quarter of a century to catch up

Kiosk 360. In an intervention this week, before the deputies, the Minister of Health measured the extent of the delay that Morocco shows in the field of health: it is a quarter of a century! This press review is taken from an article in the daily Al Ahdath Al Maghribia.

This is a finding that does not delight anyone. And when it is a minister who recalls it, it gives even more scope to the problem. To catch up in the health sector, Morocco needs at least 25 years. And here we are not only talking about the requirements in terms of investment in infrastructure, but above all the mobilization of human resources necessary for the optimal functioning of the health system.

It was Khalid Aït Taleb, responsible minister, who measured the extent of this delay during an oral questioning session in Parliament, held at the beginning of the week. First, report Al Ahdath Al Maghribia in his edition of Wednesday, December 29, the minister recalled that the exceptional health situation experienced by the country since the advent of the pandemic had undermined the entire health ecosystem. It also exposed its limits and revealed the strong need for deep structural reforms to bring the sector up to the demands of Moroccans.

This observation established by the Minister is not really new, would like to emphasize Al Ahdath Al Maghribia. On several occasions in the past, a similar inventory had been presented, without any concrete action having been taken to really upgrade the health system. What is perhaps new, however, is the number of years it takes for the country to catch up. The necessary 25 years mentioned by the Minister mainly concern the sector’s need for human resources.

As Khalid Aït Taleb explained to the deputies, the current need is estimated at 97,000 medical and paramedical executives. However, the various training establishments in the field of health only lead to a maximum of 1,200 new graduates each year. This is not to mention regional disparities in the distribution of available resources, which means that some areas are hardly covered by health services.

On this aspect, adds the daily, the minister is already giving some avenues that can help reduce the deficit. The first, and not the least, concerns the motivation of health personnel, and particularly Moroccan executives who work abroad. Convincing the latter to return to work in the country, while ensuring good governance of the sector, would help to significantly improve the situation.

Still on this human resources register, the Minister of Health took advantage of his intervention to revisit the recently promulgated law 33.21. It contributes, according to him, to the reform of the sector, by removing the obstacles hindering the practice of medicine by foreigners. Likewise, adds the newspaper, Khalid Aït Taleb insisted on the fact that the new vision with which the sector is endowed is based on the recognition of a special status for health personnel in the public service, in order to allow a more efficient management of human resources, taking into account the specificities of this sector.

In other words, although Morocco may make significant investments in health infrastructure and put in place effective and efficient governance, it is only by definitively resolving the problem of insufficient human resources that the ‘we can really envision a health sector that meets the expectations of citizens.

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