The Ministry of Health and Quality of Life is responsible, inter alia, for developing a comprehensive health service; instituting and maintaining measures for the prevention of diseases in order to meet the health need of the population; providing facilities for the treatment of diseases; making provision for the rehabilitation of the disabled; advising local government authorities regarding the health services and implementing a Family Planning, Maternal and Child Health Programme. It is also responsible for providing facilities for the training of Nursing Officers, Midwives, auxiliary staff, Laboratory Technicians, Radiographers and Health Inspectors.
The mission of the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life is to enhance the health status of the population, improve the quality of health care delivery with a view to increasing patients’ satisfaction and enhance social equity through the provision of a wider range of health services including specialised health care to the whole population. It also ensures that the health sector is consolidated and that the health services remain accessible to every citizen.
The Hyperbaric Medicine Unit has been operational since March 2004 at the Victoria Hospital. Its primary aim is to treat diving accident patients (decompression sickness). The Unit also attends to non-diving accident patients (emergency cases) like near hanging, sudden deafness and carbon monoxide poisoning cases coming for treatment.
Medical Laboratory Services
The Medical Laboratory Services are responsible for the screening of diseases; diagnosis of diseases in patients and monitoring their treatment; carrying out investigation for public health purposes; and conducting laboratory based research activities. The laboratory covers eight distinct fields, namely biochemistry, haematology, bacteriology, parasitology, virology, hispathology, cytology and blood transfusion. The Medical Laboratory Services also provide facilities for practical training of medical and paramedical students.
There is a network of Medical Laboratories situated in regional,specialised and district hospitals. The activities of the various laboratories are coordinated by the Central Health Laboratory at Candos which is headedby the Consultant (Pathology). The Laboratory Services are provided by two categories of officers - the medical staff consisting of Consultant (Pathology)
and Specialist/Senior Specialist (Pathology) and the Medical Laboratory Technician cadre.
Blood Transfusion Service
The Ministry of Health & Quality of Life operates a Blood Transfusion Service to ensure a safe and adequate supply of blood in the country. National Blood Transfusion Service of Mauritius is situated in the premises of Victoria Hospital, Candos. It is one of the many departments of Central Health Laboratory, Ministry of Health and Quality of Life. It caters for the need of blood and blood components for all public and private Health care institutions in the Republic of Mauritius. It collects blood at fixed points as well as through a system of mobile blood collection throughout the island. The fixed points of blood collection are found at Blood Banks attached to the four regional hospitals namely AG Jeetoo Hospital, SSRN Hospital , Flacq Hospital, Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital and the Blood Transfusion Service at Candos.
The X-Ray Department provides two distinct services: the Therapeutic Radiography and the Diagnostic Radiography Services.The Therapeutic Radiography Service provides treatment through linear Accelerator and Cobalt Machine to cancer patients of Mauritius and Rodrigues. It operates as an autonomous unit with a separate administration from the X-Ray Section. The Therapeutic service consists mainly of giving radiation to patients which are carried out during normal working hours.
Surgical Technology Workshop
The Victoria Hospital operates a Surgical Technology Workshop which undertakes manufacture and repairs of a number of instruments used in the surgical, anaesthetic units. It is presently manned by officers in the Instrument Curator Cadre. The duties devolving on the Instrument Curator are to manufacture surgical instruments and implements; effect repairs to surgical instruments and implements; and carry out periodical tests on specialised equipment such as anaesthetic machines, respirators, etc. On the other hand, the Assistant Instrument Curator is required, among others, to assist the Instrument curator in the manufacture, maintenance and repair of surgical instruments and medical equipment.
Nuclear Medicine Department
The Jawaharlall Nehru Hospital operates a Nuclear Medicine Department comprising the Gamma Camera Room, Hot Laboratory, Processing Station,Waiting Room, Store and Reception. It is manned by officers in the grade of Nuclear Medicine Technologists.
Health Information, Education and Communication Unit
The Health Information, Education and Communication Unit is responsible for the design and implementation of information, education and communication programmes of the Ministry. Its main functions are, among others, to develop projects and programmes on the preventive aspects of health; advise the Ministry on policy matters pertaining to health promotion; plan, coordinate, supervise, monitor and evaluate national and regional activities related to health education and promotion; and coordinate with other Ministries and NGOs.
Health Statistics Unit
The main functions of the Health Statistics Unit of the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life are to collect, process, analyse, publish and disseminate information related to population and vital statistics, diseases, causes of deaths, health delivery service statistics, infrastructure and personnel. The main users of health statistics are health managers, planners, researchers
and other local as well as international stakeholders. The Unit provides the necessary information support for the surveillance of non-communicable diseases and for rapid interventions to control the spread of communicable diseases.
Demography/ Evaluation Unit
The Demographic/Evaluation Unit of the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life is responsible for the evaluation of the national family planning programme and for the collection of family planning statistics from all Government clinics and the two non-governmental organizations, namely the Mauritius Family Planning and Welfare Association and the Action Familiale. The Unit also acts as a coordinating unit with all departments and organizations involved in
population activities and carries out surveys and research particularly in the field of reproductive health.
Government Analyst Division
The Government Analyst Division provides physico-chemical services for,among others, foodstuffs analysis in compliance with Food Act 1998 and Food Regulation GN 173 of 1999; toxicological analysis of body fluids for screening of drugs, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, alcohol and intoxication with dangerous chemicals; customs and excise products analysis
for the Mauritius Revenue Authority; analysis of drinking water as per Environmental Protection Act 2002; and pharmaceutical analysis.
Environmental Health Engineering Unit (EHEU)
The Environmental Health Engineering Unit (EHEU) operates under the Preventive Section of the Ministry. Its main objective is to support the Health Inspectorate Unit in terms of engineering services. The EHEU is also responsible to carry out post monitoring visits in connection with Building and Land Use Permits, advise Ministries and other authorities on matters relating
to public health engineering and on onsite excreta disposal system in nonsewered area; and collect data from different regions.
Mauritius Institute of Health
The MIH is expected to carry out training and research activities in the health sector and to provide services that would contribute positively:
- to enhance the quality of health care services through the development of a health profession education plan.
- to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of health programmes through the conduct of Health Systems Research (HSR) and evaluation of health services.
- to strengthen regional cooperation in the field of health, through the development of international courses in response to the training needs of the countries of the region.
- to increase accessibility to quality information on medical and health issues, needed by health care providers, through the provision of wide range of information on health and health related subjects. to develop linkages with training and research institutions at national and international levels.
National E-Health Strategic Plan
A National E-Health Strategic plan is in process which aims to:
- Improve clinical practice and outcomes both as a result of better quality of healthcare and reduced costs of service delivery
- Guide resource planning , allocation, monitoring and evaluation of programmes and initiatives by policy makers and programme implementers
- Improve accountability of health care providers and policy makers
- Bring about enhanced levels of patient personal data security and privacy
- Reduce waiting time for access to healthcare services at all levels
- Improve awareness levels in citizens and residents of key issues in personal and public health
E-Health / Telemedicine
An E-Health Strategic plan has been formulated in order to enhance the operations of the public health system. The primary objectives of the plan aim at defining an appropriate ICT Strategy to improve the work processes of the Ministry. Mauritius is one among the countries of the African Union to be connected under the PAN- African E-Network. This Project benefits from the Indian expertise in the field of tele-medicine, tele-education, internet, video-conferencing and VoIP services. The Cardiac Centre in Mauritius has been chosen as the location for the implementation of the Project.
Non Communicable Diseases
The burden of Non-Communicable Diseases in Mauritius is growing rapidly. NCDs, which include cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and related conditions of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and excessive bodyweight, represent serious public health threats. The last national NCD Survey carried in Mauritius has revealed amongst others that 15% of the Mauritian population aged 20 to 74 years are diabetics and for those aged 30 years and above, the prevalence of diabetes is nearly 1 in 5.