The Ministry of Health and Child Care, together with various donor organizations commonly referred to as partners, recently held a strategic planning meeting to review its various programs and map a way forward ahead of the coming year (2023).
The 5-day long meeting which was held in Victoria Falls last week was attended by the Ministry’s top management and representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid (CordAid), among others.
The meeting deliberated on various key issues affecting the health care delivery system in Zimbabwe, including the issue of funding for national health care programs.
It surfaced that over the years there has been an increase in domestic funding for the health sector through national budget allocations to the parent Ministry.
However, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr. Jasper Chimedza, applauded appreciated the role contribution of funding partners to the health sector as critical.
“The Ministry continues to be grateful for the continued support from our development partners. Your support has been critical and timely as we continue increased funding and sustainable disbursement in 2023,” said Dr Chimedza.
The Ministry of Health reaffirmed Government commitment towards improving the country’s health delivery system, particularly through Public Health institutions and facilities.
In addition, through improving the conditions of services for health care workers with focus being given to the provision of the tools of trade, transport, accommodation projects and the necessary allowances and other staff incentives.
Already, Government has since commissioned projects in some of these aforesaid areas. For instance, Government has acquired land across Provinces for the construction of flats for health care workers and the initial batch of such was commissioned in Marimba in 2022. Relatedly, Government is finalizing the procurement of flats in Manresa earmarked for civil servants and health workers are set to benefit from the project. Another block of flats is expected along Baines Avenue. Shopping malls, canteens, and other recreational facilities at Sally Mugabe and Ingutsheni hospitals in Harare and Bulawayo respectively. At Ingutsheni a piece of land has already been identified for the construction of hospital accommodation for health workers from United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) and Mpilo Hospital.
The provision of these accommodations is part of the Governments commitment to avail non-monetary incentives for the great efforts that medical personnel continue to make towards ensuring the well-being of all citizens nationwide.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Health and Child Care is in the process of procuring operational vehicles and ambulances as well as buses for transporting workers. 40 ambulances have been donated to district hospitals and 68 are expected to be procured and delivered before the year ends. This is to address the transportation crisis being faced in hard-to-reach areas. Ambulances provided are to cover highways in the event of any road accidents lives will be saved.
Manpower Development and Staff Training remains crucial especially in the wake of medical skills tourism affecting the country owing to the high demand in developed countries following the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic which robbed them off of their health care workers too.