Health ministry bemoans 2015 budgetary allocation

via Health ministry bemoans 2015 budgetary allocation | The Herald December 23, 2014

The Ministry of Health and Child Care has expressed disappointment with the 2015 Budget as it failed to fulfil the Abuja Declaration to allocate at least 15 percent of the country’s budget to healthcare, an health official has said.

Speaking at a press briefing on HIV and Access to Treatment in Zimbabwe, HIV and Tuberculosis Unit director Dr Owen Mugurungi said it is hard to deliver full quality health service.

“We don’t have enough resources and the budget that we got falls far less than what we anticipated. Unlike in the previous budget, we had more money. This time the allocated funds are 6.3 percent down from last year’s 8.2 percent.

“There has been a reduction in the amount of money that we will get and the ministry of Finance said the majority of the money will go into human resources and recruitment,” he said.

In April 2001, African Union countries meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, pledged to increase government funding for health to at least 15 percent of their annual budgets.

Dr Mugurungi said Government should re-align its allocations with global trends to allow for systematic allocation of resources and maximum community participation.

“The principle that health is a basic and a fundamental human right can never be overemphasised. There is therefore a need to implement a needs-based resource allocation method that recognises different needs by different hospitals, health facilities and districts in particular.”

The health sector is heavily dependent on the international donor funding while staff morale is low due to poor remuneration.

Mr Sebastian Chinhaire of the Zimbabwe National Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS (ZNNP+) called on Government to scrape consultation fees being charged in health institutions.

“Consultation fees is hindering the poorest of the poor to access life giving drugs, unless this challenge is addressed universal access to treatment will remain but a dream in Zimbabwe,” he said.

This is despite Zimbabwe’s public healthcare system crumbling under increasing demand, continued poor access to care, and high out-of-pocket expenditure on healthcare.

In 2015 budget the ministry of Health and Child Care was allocated $301 million which is 6.3 percent of national budget.

In the 2014, the ministry got $337 million which is 8,2 percent of the total budget allocation and is slightly less than what was allocated in 2013 (9,87 percent).