via Doctors’ fee hike sparks outrage – DailyNews Live 27 MAY 2014
Government has hiked consultation fees for doctors by close to 100 percent.
In a notice published in the Government Gazette last Friday, Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa said the hike must be implemented immediately.
Zimbabweans are now required to pay $35 to consult a general practitioner from $20 and follow-up consultations will now attract $30 from the previous $15.
Doctors consultation fees went up to $60 for weekend visits and $70 for night visits.
Amid the hike, our reporter Wendy Muperi took to the streets of Harare to gauge public opinion on the latest hike.
Godfrey Matava (50)
“Izvi zvinotongoreva kuparara kwedu. We have already been struggling to pay. Increasing fees in this scenario means we no longer have a guarantee to life.”
Chirapa Godfrey (51)
Even though some are on medical aid, they are asked to pay when they go to service providers because Premier Service Medical Aid Society is not honouring its dues. I am a civil servant and the development means we will fall ill, stay at home, if I am to die, I die.
Instead of us moving forward, we are going backwards. We are going back to the 2008 era of hopelessness. I do not know if that is what they want but that is where we are going.”
James Moyana (37)
“The life I am already living is tough. I do not have any way of manoeuvring. The little that I get is already covering the little I own in life. Now zvatova tricky, kana ndangorwara ndichatongoramba ndiri mumba kusvika zvazongonzi vashayira mumba. Where do I go when I know I do not have money?”
Margaret Mukazi (60)
“I will be sick and you know it normally happens when one does not have money, then I am now required to pay double what I used to pay, that is not good. Life is already difficult, we expect policy makers to find ways of making it bearable. It is not everyone who has money, we do not have money. Even when you are working, the money is normally a pittance.”
Tawanda Jakata (32)
“A medical fee hike equally affects us with medical aid because I have other members of my family who are not on my medical cover. We have to contribute for their treatment as a family. It becomes more financially draining. In general, a rise in any price is never welcome. It does not matter whether it is bread or a sweets, it triggers inflation.”
Kandikore Junior (41)
This is very bad. It is totally unacceptable to increase charges when no one has received any increment. More people are going to die because they will not be able pay that much. We know our hospitals and doctors have been short changing clients with shoddy services. What has changed to warrant this rise? This is the US dollar, not the Zimdollar.”
Silas Jena (44)
“There is no order in Zimbabwe. Anyone can just wake up and start selling a sweet for $25 and if it is bought then that is it; they continue making a living from it.
This is one situation that leaves us with no option but to sacrifice because I cannot watch my child die.”