9 January 2018

Zimbabwe: Health Budget Allocation Unacceptable - Mudenda

Parliament has called on government to consider increasing the budget allocation for the Ministry of Health and Child Care saying it should have the highest allocation, or at least the 15 percent benchmark set out in the Abuja Declaration of 2001.

Addressing the post budget seminar in Harare on Monday, speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda said the deplorable state of the country's public health service delivery calls for a bigger budget in line with the 2001 Abuja Declaration.

"Apart from reviewing the Budget allocation for Parliament, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development must consider revising upwards the budget for the Ministry of Health and Child Care.

"This Ministry should have the highest allocation at most or at least comply with the 15% benchmark set by the Abuja Declaration.

"This proposal is informed by the current deplorable state of our Public Health Delivery System," said Mudenda.

He added that health facilities are clearly not in sync with the Constitution of Zimbabwe which espouse right to health care for all citizens.

"The health facilities are clearly not in sync with Section 76 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which espouses the fundamental human right to health care.

"It also provides that every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe has the right to have access to basic health-care services, including reproductive health-care services.

"Every person living with a chronic illness has the right to have access to basic healthcare services for the illness.

"No person may be refused emergency medical treatment in any health-care institution.

"The State must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within the limits of the resources available to it, to achieve the progressive realisation of the rights set out in this section," added Mudenda.

He said the 2018 Budget allocation to the Health and Child Care ministry was unacceptable and unattainable in the challenging health delivery service.

"In spite of the above constitutional obligations, the 2018 Budget allocation to the Ministry of Health and Child Care is 7.7% of the total Budget slightly up from 6.9% in the 2017 Budget as compared with 8.27% in the 2016 Budget.

"This situation is unacceptable and unattainable in our challenging health delivery service," he said.

Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa allocated US$400 million to the Ministry of Health representing 7.7% of the US$5.1 billion budget.

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