Health strategy to cost $23bn

Source: Health strategy to cost $23bn | The Herald April 10, 2019

Health strategy to cost $23bn

Bulawayo Bureau
THE Ministry of Health and Child Care needs an estimated $23 billion to implement a five-year plan to address prevailing health issues under the National Health Strategy (NHS) up to 2020.

According to the NHS 2016-2020 costing report, HIV and Aids consumes more funds than any other disease in Zimbabwe though non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are catching up.

The five-year plan was done with technical support from the World Bank and other stakeholders.

“The strategic plan is divided into three scenarios which are the baseline, reducing mortality associated with the 20 established leading causes within limits of the proposed financial space and, thirdly, the scaling up optimally of most health service interventions. The entire plan would cost $6,9 billion, $7,6 billion and $8,5 billion for the National Health Strategy scenarios 1, 2 and 3 respectively,” read the report.

The report says both infant and maternal mortality rates are likely to drop if the strategy is implemented.

“The full implementation of the National Health Strategy requires resources beyond what Zimbabwe can afford. The Ministry of Health and Child Care faces tough decisions in prioritising different services included in the NHS, and must carefully plan and generate more domestic resources as well as improve overall health system efficiency,” read the report.

The report also noted that reproductive, maternal, new born and child health, HIV and Aids and non-communicable diseases consume the largest share of health-related costs in Zimbabwe.

“HIV/Aids consumes more costs than any other disease category. NCD costs are catching up because of increased prevalence, requiring careful balance of the increased demand for health services,” read the report.

The reported recommended that the Ministry of Health and Child Care and Treasury should streamline resource mobilisation efforts to ensure increased and sustained health sector funding to close the financing gap and to address the changing needs of the population.

“Some data were not available and the model had to rely on experts’ opinions. For example, there was no data from interventions on breast cancer. The coverage of these interventions was set as 0, which may underestimate the costs of NCDs,” read the report.