Govt urged to promote universal access to health services

GOVERNMENT has been urged to setup a national health insurance policy to promote universal access to health services and quick service delivery.

by TAFADZWA MUTACHA

Speaking during Alpha Media Holdings Conversations in Harare yesterday, director of epidemiology and disease control in the Health ministry, Portia Manangazira said equal access to health services was still a problem, hence the need for a national health insurance scheme.

“Universal access to health services is only possible through a prepayment mechanism. We need to make sure that people are pre-paid for the country to have a social health insurance,” she said.

“The quality of health service provision in this country has really gone down. We want a situation where people have access to health facilities at a place of their choice. As Zimbabweans we have not been organised enough to setup a national health insurance that accrues to everybody in the country. If people get free services, who is going to pay for it? For there to be universal access to health services we have to guarantee its quality as well.”

Manangazira added that the health services sector suffered a huge brain drain in the last decades, with poor administration leading to deterioration of services.

“There has been massive brain drain in this country and this region has benefited a lot. We lost the human capital and we lost some of the management as well, so we have governance issue that need to be addressed within the health delivery system as well,” she said.

Another health practitioner, Tapiwanashe Bvakura said Zimbabwe needed to catch up with modern times by investing in infrastructure and that there was need to re-equip the health services sector.