BY MOSES MUGUGUNYEKI
PRIVATE medical practitioners drawn from across the country will this weekend meet in Mutare for their annual conference to discuss health financing, and the possibility of a fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The conference will be held under the theme Sustainability and Welfare for Health Providers in the Changing Environment.
Medical and Dental Private Practitioners Association of Zimbabwe (MDPPAZ) president Johannes Marisa said the conference would be attended by private medical stakeholders who include doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians, scientists and dentists, among others.
“It will focus on pushing for the creation and adoption of policies and procedures that implement or give effect to legislation or changes to legislation with regards to health financing in the country. Medical and dental practitioners have been struggling to finance their operations as some medical societies were delaying payments, or were not paying at all,” he said.
“At the same time, we will see how best we can tackle challenges affecting the medical sector. Remember, we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and there is a possibility of a fifth wave. So, the meeting will look at the impact and implications of COVID-19 on the health delivery system. We will evaluate and see our preparedness in case of a possible wave.”
The conference is also expected to discuss other challenges affecting the health sector such as brain drain and inflation.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services minister Monica Mutsvangwa is expected to be the guest of honour at the conference, that will also be attended by representatives from the Health and Child Care ministry, medical aid societies, insurance companies, pharmacies and civil society organisations, among other health stakeholders.
MDPPAZ secretary-general Cletos Masiya said: “There will be business sessions and collaboration strategies shall be discussed and adopted to reposition the profession into a formidable force in view of various threats and new opportunities in our environment.”
Zimbabwe lags behind in meeting the Abuja Declaration of allocating 15% of the government’s budget towards health, while only 10% of the population is on medical insurance.