Civil society presents smart ideas

via Civil society presents smart ideas – The Zimbabwean 23.9.2015

Civil society has released an alternative socio-economic blueprint that calls for health for all as a constitutional right.

The document, Zimbabwe Social Market Agenda for Recovery and Transformation (ZimSmart), was made public by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) on Monday and seeks to provide a “menu of smart ideas” that can help Zimbabwe reinvigorate the economy for the benefit of ordinary people.

It involved consultations with key stakeholders and reviewed civil society and government economic blueprints and programmes. The health-for-all policy was adopted in the early years of independence that was attained in 1980 but abandoned in the 1990s when government embarked on the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (Esap) that sought to cut public expenditure.

Government allocated only $337 million to health from the $4.2 billion national budget (8%) for 2014-2015. The African Union Abuja Declaration of 2001 recommends that governments must give at least 15 percent of national budgets to health.

The ZimSmart model recommends the establishment of a national insurance scheme that is publicly funded to ensure that healthcare is available to every citizen who needs it. Reform of the healthcare system will require a health fund where donors must contribute.

It also calls for a commitment to education, social assistance to the vulnerable in the form of pensions, long-term care insurances and collective labour bargaining. The blueprint also advocates for modern infrastructure to drive economic prosperity.