Dr Parireny­atwa blasts Trea­sury

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Pamela Shumba Se­nior Reporter

THE Min­is­ter of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parireny­atwa, yes­ter­day blasted Trea­sury for un­der fund­ing the health sec­tor, say­ing this has se­ri­ously com­pro­mised health ser­vice de­liv­ery at Gov­ern­ment hos­pi­tals.

Dr Parireny­atwa vis­ited Fi­l­abusi and Esigo­dini Dis­trict Hos­pi­tals in Mata­bele­land South to as­sess the sit­u­a­tion at the health in­sti­tu­tions.

In 2015, Fi­l­abusi Dis­trict Hos­pi­tal re­ceived $36 000 from Trea­sury against a bud­get of $133 000 while in 2016 the hos­pi­tal re­ceived only $16 000 in­stead of $80 000. The hos­pi­tal is owed more than $71 000 by pa­tients.

The Min­is­ter ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment over the per­ceived lack of com­mit­ment from Trea­sury to ad­e­quately fund hos­pi­tals.

“This is dis­ap­point­ing. Trea­sury must wake up and pro­vide the re­quired funds to keep the health sec­tor on its feet. Any coun­try is judged by its health sys­tem and poor health ser­vices ex­pose the coun­try.

“It’s de­press­ing and re­ally bad to look at the dis­crep­ancy on the re­quired funds and what is re­leased by the fis­cus. Trea­sury needs to fi­nance the health de­liv­ery sys­tem so that we have a work­able en­vi­ron­ment for peo­ple work­ing on the ground,” said Dr Parireny­atwa. User fees, he added, are far be­yond the reach of many and it should be Trea­sury’s pri­or­ity to fund the health sec­tor and pro­mote good health.

“We have a pol­icy which stip­u­lates that chil­dren aged five and below, as well as adults aged 65 years and above should be treated for free. But a lot more peo­ple in be­tween can’t af­ford to pay for health ser­vices,” said Dr Parireny­atwa.

He said it was sad that the work that is done by med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers in the health sec­tor was un­der es­ti­mated yet they work with strained bud­gets.

“The sit­u­a­tion is not the best but peo­ple are still work­ing. We un­der es­ti­mate what is hap­pen­ing at the hos­pi­tals. We’ve got the pas­sion in our per­son­nel and they’re are do­ing very well un­der dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances. Their ef­forts should be com­pli­mented by ad­e­quate fund­ing and re­sources. A lot of peo­ple think that there’s no work that is be­ing done at the hos­pi­tals but these peo­ple are work­ing hard,” said Dr Parireny­atwa.

The Min­is­ter urged busi­nesses, min­ing com­pa­nies and med­i­cal in­sur­ance com­pa­nies to pro­vide fund­ing for hos­pi­tals to be fully equipped so that they ef­fec­tively pro­vide health ser­vices. He said do­mes­tic fund­ing was key to a vi­brant health sec­tor.

Dr Parireny­atwa com­mended mem­bers of staff at both hos­pi­tals for work­ing hard to keep the hos­pi­tals up and run­ning.

He chal­lenged lead­ers in the province to source fund­ing for a new hos­pi­tal for the dis­trict and said the Gov­ern­ment would pro­vide some of the funds.

He said it was un­fair for the hos­pi­tal in Esigo­dini to be treated as a Dis­trict Hos­pi­tal.

“It’s a clinic that was sim­ply con­verted into a hos­pi­tal with­out up­grad­ing it in terms of in­fra­struc­ture and equip­ment. The hos­pi­tal there­fore de­serves to be el­e­vated.

“I hope that the com­mu­nity will carry with me this bur­den of es­tab­lish­ing a new, big­ger hos­pi­tal. The Gov­ern­ment will as­sist but it’s the sup­port from the com­mu­nity and the lo­cal busi­ness peo­ple that’s im­por­tant,” said Dr Parireny­atwa.

Au­thor­i­ties at the two hos­pi­tals said while fund­ing was a ma­jor set back, they were also faced with the short­ages of health work­ers, lack of ac­com­mo­da­tion and limited pa­tients’ ca­pac­ity to pay for ser­vices. — @pame­lashumba1

Min­is­ter of Health and Child Care Dr David Parireny­atwa ex­am­ines Thalitha Moyo dur­ing a tour of Fi­l­abusi Dis­trict Hos­pi­tal in Fi­l­abusi yes­ter­day

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