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Masarira lashes out at Chiwenga

by Staff reporter
11 Sep 2022 at 15:20hrs | Views
LEAD president Linda Masarira came out guns blazing on August 24 as she lashed out at the Ministry of Health and Child Care for poor medical state in government-run hospitals claiming that national budgeted funds allocated towards the ministry are being abused.

In an official letter to Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) Rtd General Constantino Chiwenga, Masarira said the Ministry is idle when it comes to respecting health rights considering that 15percent of the national budget is channelled towards the health sector.

"Government has failed to ensure people's rights to access affordable, quality and basic health care in government hospitals. Most if not all public hospitals lack basic antibiotics, painkillers and chronic diseases medication. Considering that the Ministry of Health gets at least 15% of the national budget, it is perplexing how the ministry of health has continuously failed to provide quality healthcare to the people of Zimbabwe.

"It is high time the budget allocated for the Ministry of Health works to revive the ailing health sector and have audited statements of the same funds availed publicly for people to see how the funds are used," read part of the letter.

According to Masarira, the ruling party (Zanu-PF) government has failed to fulfil promises they made during campaign processions for 2018 presidential elections, chief among those being the review of civil servants remuneration.

"During the 2018 campaigns, your party which is ruling the government pledged to ensure that treasury allocates at least 15% of the National budget to the healthcare sector in line with the Abuja declaration (this is the only thing you managed to fulfil), review remuneration structure for medical professionals, invest in new healthcare facilities in order to ensure access by all to health services particularly in rural and resettlement areas, resuscitate the country's pharmaceutical industry to increase the availability of drugs at affordable prices, establish at least one new hospital per administrative district by 2023 and development and implementation of health services manpower skills development plan," added the letter.

The rallying political figure said she have tried countless times to get hold of Minister Chiwenga but efforts ended up in vain.

TellZim got in touch with two nurses from one of the government run hospitals who expressed grief over the salaries they are getting despite being critical service providers.

"We are part of a sector that is key to Zimbabwe but what we are earning does not make sense. It's not proper to receive penury salaries for such a backbone sector like ours," said the nurse.

The second nurse added that the Ministry had to respect the profession.

"For such a field like the health sector, professionalism is important. It's not always about remuneration but it's also about working under correct conditions," said the other nurse.

Government has already initiated National Development Strategy (NDS1) which kick started in 2020. The plan was meant to target key health sectors and how they can be refurbished.

The health sector has been of late been haunted by strikes and denouncements the latest being the firing of former President of Zimbabwe Professional Nurses Union (ZPNU) Robert Chiduku.

Source - TellZim News