Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who doubles up as the Minister of Health and Child Care has been called upon to deliver on the promises made by his government on health care provision in the country.
In an open letter to the VP, LEAD President, Linda Masarira, said government had only managed to fulfil one out of the several health delivery promises it made to the electorate in 2018.
Masarira said while government stuck to its promise of allocating 15% of the national budget to health, this had not translated into the revival of the health sector in the country.
“During the 2018 campaigns, your party which is ruling the government pledged to ensure that treasury allocates at least 15% of the National budget to the healthcare sector in line with the Abuja declaration. This is the only thing you managed to fulfill,” she said.
She said government had promised to support operational research by targeting possible solutions to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), to review remuneration structure for medical professionals, to invest in new healthcare facilities in order to ensure access by all to health services particularly in rural and resettlement areas, to resuscitate the country’s pharmaceutical industry to increase the availability of drugs at affordable prices and to develop and implement a health services manpower skills development plan and build specialized high-tech health facilities in order to become a sub-regional health tourism hub, among other promises.
The Second Republic, she added, had also promised to support training of the country’s medical professionals in advanced medical techniques and procedures in India, China, Cuba and Russia among others and establish at least one new hospital per administrative district by 2023.
She, however, noted with concern that many of these promises had not been fulfilled, leaving many Zimbabweans struggling to access quality health care.
“Of all these VP and Minister Chiwenga you only achieved one and it is mind boggling how you are failing to restore legacy in the health sector. Health is a fundamental human right which your ministry is denying millions of Zimbabweans. My fellow countrymen can’t afford to get treated in private hospitals which are very exorbitant in healthcare fees. Public hospitals are ill-equipped to cater for ordinary Zimbabweans and maternal mortality is increasing. I am sure you want to leave a positive legacy and that legacy can only be one of the man who revived healthcare in Zimbabwe and put a smile on people’s faces,” she said.
Masarira said it was high time that the budget allocation for the Ministry of Health worked to revive the ailing health sector, adding that audited statements of the funds allocated to the ministry should be availed for public scrutiny to ensure transparency.
“A life lost can never be reincarnated, sadly our people are dying prematurely every day because government hospitals which should provide healthcare for all are failing to do so yet we have a whole ministry with a constitutional mandate to ensure that the right to healthcare is upheld in this country,” she said.