HEALTH and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa has said the ministry requires at least $1,1 billion, about a quarter of the country’s budget, annually to run smoothly with adequate supplies of drugs and other consumables.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
Speaking to NewsDay after being sworn-in by President Emmerson Mnangagwa at State House yesterday, Parirenyatwa said previous budget allocations to the health sector had made it difficult to fully equip public hospitals, forcing some patients to seek medication outside the country.
“The health sector cannot improve when we don’t have resources,” he said.
“Most of the problems that we are facing are because we don’t have resources, but if we have adequate resources, we will improve the hospitals and buy adequate ambulances and get more of our specialists on the ground and be able to contain malaria and issues worrying the sector and particularly retaining our staff.
“We want $1,1 billion a year. I know this might be out of reach, but for us to make things right, we need this amount annually.”
Parirenyatwa said with the coming-in of Mnangagwa, he was hopeful things would change for the better and the international community had shown willingness to engage.
He said the ministry was looking at ways to woo back Zimbabwean specialists to the country and help improve the health sector.
“We are going to make a particular effort of attracting our own foreign-based specialists so that they come back home, but it will also depend on how much equipment is available in the country because a lot of them are very highly skilled and would need appropriate equipment so that our people are helped at home,” Parirenyatwa said.
“I hope we are going to attract foreign investment in the health sector.”