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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Treasury challenged to increase funding towards health sector

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

STAKEHOLDERS in the health sector have called upon treasury to increase funds allocated to the Ministry of Health and Child Care to enhance the country’s drive towards universal health coverage.

In a pre-budget consultation meeting with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care this Tuesday, representatives from the ministry and stakeholders in the health sector stressed the importance of meeting the Abuja Declaration where African Union member states pledged to allocate at least 15% of their national budgets to improving health care systems.

“We want to equip our hospitals, but then when we get 10 % of what we requested towards hospital equipment then it means our health system will be compromised. We need radiotherapy machines, we need cancer machines as well as drugs to fight all these emerging diseases but then how can we achieve universal health coverage without funds. If we have a good budget all this will fall into place,” said Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Aspect Maunganidze .

“Taking into consideration our needs as a ministry our bid was 10,272,666,444,342 but then treasury allocated us 2,918,348,619,000 which is only 28 % of what we requested. 15% of the total budget is what is needed. In 2022 we were at 12.16 then 2023 we were at 12.85 this time around we want something a bit higher even if we don’t get to the Abuja Declaration,” noted Acting Finance Director in thec Ministry of Health and Child Care, Ms Lynnet Tennis.

Permanent Secretary in The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Professor Obert Jiri also appealed for an increase in allocated funds.

“Our budget is never enough and our programmes are too many. Most of the people think we can be treated like any other ministry but we are five ministries in one. Our resources are never enough. We got a resource envelope of ZWL$2.8 trillion which is not adequate. We require your support so that the envelope is increased,” he said.

An annual budget of over ZWL33 trillion is being proposed in line with the National Development Strategy One aspirations, whose focus is on development.

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