The Sunday News
The Transitional Stabilisation Programme is the Government’s economic blueprint initiated in the last quarter of 2018, which contains and expresses the aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe, drawing its policy thrust from Vision 2030.
It explains how the Government wants to uplift the lives of people, through various policy interventions across all spheres of life, and one key sector is the health sector, which falls among priority areas.
“Health infrastructure will be upgraded to enable provision of comprehensive health services and re-establishment of the referral system.
“Access will be enhanced through construction of additional facilities especially in new resettlement areas as well as those areas where current facilities are failing to meet demand. Construction of 63 Rural Health Posts, covering a staff house and basic equipment for primary care at a cost of US$4,4 million.
“The target is to construct 6 602 throughout the country that will provide the first line of defence in disease prevention and treatment.
“Commencement of works for the construction of two District hospitals for both Harare and Bulawayo at a cost of US$240 million.
“Rehabilitation and upgrading of infrastructure at provincial hospitals will also be prioritised including the construction of Lupane Provincial Hospital which is expected to commence in 2019.
“Through the IDBZ and in the health sector, plans are advanced to roll out medical staff accommodation (on-site) across the country and academic and medical staff accommodation,” reads the TSP in part.
Therefore, the pronouncement by President Mnangagwa that Government will build 6 600 clinics shows that the New Dispensation is walking the talk, and is keen to ensure that everyone, rich or poor, has access to quality health care services. The President reiterated the Government position last week while speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in the USA.
He said while the Government remains committed to ensuring health services for all its citizens, illegal sanctions imposed by the United States (US) and European Union (EU) remain stumbling blocks to the fulfilment of the objective. President Mnangagwa was addressing a high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage during the 74th Ordinary Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
“While we have made significant strides in ensuring that no one should travel more than 10km to reach a health service, some communities still have limited access to health facilities.
“My Government is therefore constructing health posts, clinics and hospitals in remote areas to address this challenge. A total of 6 600 health posts will be constructed over the next five years.
“The current challenge is to modernise primary healthcare. Sadly, however, our efforts are being greatly hampered by the ruinous illegal sanctions imposed on our country.”
The President added that Zimbabwe continues to addresses gaps that exist in the health delivery system, for universal health coverage, adding that Government launched the Health Financing Policy in 2018, with the aim of reinvigorating Zimbabwe’s health delivery system through robust and sustainable domestic health funding.
He said in addition to the Aids Levy, Government has introduced a Health Levy. Zimbabwe has also embarked on setting up a National Health Insurance which will help improve access to many more people, especially those in the informal sector.
The provision of health care services for all is key, and we applaud the Government for its commitment in that regard. A healthy nation is bound to be prosperous economically and socially.