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Do health facilities work for people?

Only 1 out of 20 (6%) people over the age of 60 and 1 out of 5 (18%) children under five receive free treatment and care at health facilities. Policy states that outpatient services for these two groups are free but citizens report that they are still being charged.

These findings were released by Twaweza in a research brief titled Do health facilities work for people? Citizens and health workers report on health services. The brief is based on data from Sauti za Wananchi, a nationally representative mobile phone survey of households across mainland Tanzania.

Health care is a key service required by the majority of citizens. More than half (57%) of Tanzanians visited a health facility between May and June 2013, either to seek treatment or to accompany a patient. Most (77%) of these visits were made to government health facilities. However a majority of Tanzanians (63%) believe that the government is handling the improvement of basic health services badly. Patients experience of health services largely depend on health worker availability and access to medicines. In September 2013, Sauti za Wananchi reported that 41% of patients could not access medicine at health facilities.

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