Partnership for Social Accountability Alliance

Strengthening Social Accountability and Oversight in Health and Agriculture in Southern Africa

Corruption milking health sector dry, say stakeholders

Corruption milking health sector dry, say stakeholders

THE country’s health sector suffers from a toxic combination of corruption, poor salaries as well as lack of political will to research on medical solutions facing the health delivery system, stakeholders have noted.

Speaking at a two-day indaba organised by the Harare Institute of Public Health in partnership with other non-governmental organisations, stakeholders said there was need for the health sector to be adequately resourced.

Higher and Tertiary Education ministry permanent secretary Fanuel Tagwira (pictured above) said research on problems dogging the country’s health sector lacked depth.

“The problem that we are facing as a training institution is that when we research,  we come up with some medical solutions to some societal problems but we don’t go further to develop that solution so that we can have mass production. With Education 5,0 we need to come up with mass production of those solutions so that the communities can benefit,” Tagwira said.

“Admittedly, Zimbabwe has been producing highly skilled health workers. This is evidenced by the high mass exodus and the demand for Zimbabwean health professionals around the world. It would be interesting from this point to hear recommendations on dealing with this brain drain in the health sector.”

ActionAid Zimbabwe head of programmes and resources mobilisation, Andrew Chikowore, said citizens were paying the price for corruption and lack of budgetary support to the health sector.

“Poor public management systems and corruption continue to cripple, deepening inequalities regarding access to adequate health services. When public funding for health falls, it’s the citizens who will cover the gap through out of their pocket payments, which is not sustainable given the low disposable income amongst the public and unpredictability of donor support,” Chikowore said.

Health experts recently said Finance minister Mthuli Ncube’s $473,8 billion budget allocation towards the health sector was grossly inadequate.

Ncube announced a $4,5 trillion budget last month, with 11% going towards health.

Harare Institute of Public Health principal, Amos Marume said: “We are going to engage various stakeholders including the Ministry of Health and Education regarding updates that would have been summarised.”

Other stakeholders who attended the event include Women’s Coalition Of Zimbabwe, Albino Trust of Zimbabwe, Crowe and National Aids Council of Zimbabwe.

This story first appeared on the Newsday website here.