Chan­nel ‘sin tax’ to health sec­tor

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

EDI­TOR — I think that it would be a great idea for Govern­ment to in­crease the so-called sin tax on harm­ful prod­ucts such as al­co­hol and cig­a­rettes, espe­cially if the taxes earned from this will go to ben­e­fit­ing our med­i­cal in­dus­try.

They say that health is wealth and so the health of the na­tion must be pro­tected in or­der for the na­tion to re­ceive greater wealth.

This can be done by pro­tect­ing ci­ti­zens from harm­ful prod­ucts but also through en­sur­ing that med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties in the coun­try are up to the high­est stan­dard.

It is no se­cret that in re­cent years Zim­babwe’s med­i­cal sec­tor has been in a steady de­cline. This is in part due to the lack of fi­nances to pur­chase re­sources and pay those who work in the field.

If we can find a sus­tain­able way to find money to fi­nance the sec­tor, then I think this should be done. Get­ting treat­ment in Zim­babwe is ex­pen­sive and I don’t think that we will be able to main­tain such a sit­u­a­tion espe­cially if there is an un­for­tu­nate out­break like cholera a few years ago.

We need to be plan­ning to en­sure that we are pre­pared for any calamity that might be­fall the na­tion. A strong med­i­cal ser­vices sec­tor can also be ben­e­fi­cial in that other peo­ple from out­side Zim­babwe will end up com­ing here for treat­ment.

Med­i­cal tourism as it is known is a big thing in In­dia where a num­ber of peo­ple from all over the world in­clud­ing Zim­babwe have been go­ing to re­ceive treat­ment. Zim­babwe has some of the best doc­tors in the world, un­for­tu­nately they are un­der­paid and do not have the re­sources they need to com­pete glob­ally.

If we can fi­nance the med­i­cal sec­tor through sin tax, then we can im­prove the qual­ity of our med­i­cal ser­vices and this will ben­e­fit ev­ery­one in this coun­try. There just needs to be trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity.

Rachel Muronda, Via email

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