Finance Ministry pleads guilty to underfunding Zim health

ZIMBABWE’S Finance and Economic Development Ministry admitted last week they were underfunding the country’s public health sector.

Parliamentarians and health sector advocates have been complaining that the health sector had for years been getting national Budget allocations beneath the Abuja Declaration’s 15 percent.

Finance Ministry stated the Health and Child Care Ministry had an expenditure of more than 20 percent this year.

Addressing a High-Level Meeting on Child Health Financing, Deputy Minister of Finance Hon. Clemence Chiduwa noted Treasury inadequately funded the Health sector.

“I don’t really have much to say but I would want to submit just by looking at the presentations that have been done and also the experiences that we have in our communities that health financing at the moment is insufficient. Health financing is inefficient at the moment and the financing is still inequitable,” he said. “This is why if you check our national development strategy NDS1, we are saying leaving no one and no place behind. It is because of that acknowledgement that there is inequitability.”

He also said there was need to have financing reforms.

“So this is important to say there is need for financing reforms. But as we reform, we need to take into account we cannot look at financing reforms only, there are governance reforms. We are looking into information systems, transparency and service delivery,” the Deputy Minister said..

Legislator Dr Ruth Labode said despite having surpassed the Abuja target, it appeared the monies for other diseases were siphoned to the COVID response.

“I just want to thank the minister of health that the Abuja declaration actually ended up at 22 percent after including the purchase of the COVID vaccines. This I have a problem with. While we were in the epidemic, the other diseases, SRH, NCDs, they were there. It meant that we took money from those areas and putting somewhere else,” she said.

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