January 29, 2020

Zimbabwe’s health budget dilemma

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Mirirai Nsingo

Zimbabwe’s public health budget will not be enough to meet health needs with health costs having risen sharply especially for the poor in the wake of ever rising inflation, a public health activist, Itai Rusike has said.

Rusike expressed concern that this has already made health care services unaffordable for the poor as those who can afford them are now opting for private health sector care.

“The national budget is coming at a time when the economy is mired in chronic high inflation which makes national budgeting a very complicated matter.

“The risk is that by the time the 2020 National Budget comes into effect this January, it could have been overtaken by inflationary developments rendering it inadequate, thereby necessitating a supplementary budget very early on during the year,” said Rusike.

The Health and Child Care ministry was allocated ZW$6,5 billion from the 2020 National Budget. Rusike, an executive director for the Community Working Group on Health fears that the already existing challenges in the health sector further worsened by the doctors’ strike that almost crippled
the sector, had a devastating impact that is yet to be measured.

Rusike further argues that it is imperative for Zimbabwe to collectively act to improve health equity and reclaim the resources for the health sector.

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