Zimbabwe News

Zim Parliament considers policy reform to commercialise government hospitals

Parliamentarians are considering advocating for laws that would permit the commercialization of services at Zimbabwe’s public hospitals.

Addressing journalists following a visit to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, which is the country’s largest referral centre, Daniel Molokele, chairperson of the parliamentary Health Portfolio Committee, said (via NewZimbabwe.com):

As a portfolio committee it is our responsibility to start to make sure that this changes.

Our responsibility is to make sure that access to health services especially for cancerous diseases must not be a preserve for a few Zimbabweans, it must be for every Zimbabwean and as things stand we hear that a lot of people are dying because emphasis is on money.

We think the real problem is not money, but rather the legal and policy framework around administration of these healthcare services.

What we need to see is institutions such as Parirenyatwa, and Mpilo, getting more autonomy in terms of ability to provide services at a fee.

The parliamentary committee toured the cancer treatment units at Parirenyatwa and Mpilo Central Hospital where critical machines have broken down.

Molokele, who is the CCC Member of Parliament for the Hwange constituency, said:

So, I think the era of Parirenyatwa waiting for someone to pay for the repairs or the maintenance of these machines has to come to an end, they must have the ability to pay for themselves and that is the direction we are going to push for.

We are going to push for policy and legal framework so that those people going to India and South Africa or the private sector for healthcare services actually access them here, what we call commercialisation, and then Parirenyatwa will use the profits to fund the public front of it so that more people can access the service.

Government-run public health facilities include six central hospitals, eight provincial hospitals, and 63 district-level hospitals, with the rest being rural hospitals.

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