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Moroccan Official: Health Sector Has Utmost Priority

Moroccan Official: Health Sector Has Utmost Priority

Saturday, 21 November, 2020 - 11:15
Police and army officers patrol streets following the coronavirus outbreak in Rabat, Morocco March 23, 2020. (Reuters)

Moroccan Minister of Economy and Finance said that the health sector is among “the first priorities” of the government.


Addressing the Finance and Economic Affairs Committee on Friday, Mohamed Benchaaboun said that the health ministry’s budget has increased significantly over the past few years.


He said it amounted to 20 billion dirhams ($2 billion) in the 2021, compared to 12.92 billion dirhams ($1.29 billion dollars) in 2014.


Benchaaboun’s statement came in response to criticism by a number of lawmakers regarding the health system's inability to face the coronavirus outbreak.


The minister revealed that up to eight billion dirhams ($800 million) have been allocated to prepare medical centers in Tangier and Agadir cities, as well as a new university hospital in Rabat, and to equip university hospital centers for both Oujda and Marrakech cities.


Regarding the health sector’s human resources department, Benchaaboun has affirmed that 5,500 vacancies were set within the framework of the 2021 finance bill, compared to 4,000 in 2020.


He also stressed that hospitals also benefited from 3,223 vacancies between 2017 and 2020.


The minister noted that medical and the paramedical sectors saw the creation of 15,500 new vacancies, while only 5,320 workers left during this period after reaching the retirement age.


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