By Tendai Guvamombe(Harare)
Civic Organizations today held a dialogue on healthcare budget with the Parliamentary Portfolio on Budget and Finance in the capital.
The dialogue forum was a showcased opportunity for the civil society to unleash grievances and recommendations on pertinent issues affecting the health sector.
In the midst of the discussion, Evelyn Chamisa a member of Civil Organizations reiterated the need by the government to prioritize the health sector to help address challenges of sanitary ware and medication.
“We appeal to our honorable members of parliament to prioritize healthcare into 2020 budget as this will help us as a country to overcome challenges of sanitary ware shortages for young girls.”
“Young girls are now opting for other means which may cause cancer, apart from this we have noted a scenario were some people with HIV status going for days without medication.”
In a presentation Hon Ndiweni aged parliamentary portfolio on health to uphold the Abuja declaration which asserts 15percent of the national budget to be channeled towards healthcare sector.
This will be a priority so that the health sector won’t be able to depend on eternal donor funds.
“We need to team up with health portfolio so that we uphold the Abuja declaration on health- currently we are relying on donor funds and what if they pull away hence we need to come up with a strategy in our 2020 budget.”
Chitungwiza North Legislator Hon Godfrey Sithole emphasized the need to realign laws to curb issues of corruption leading to lack of transparency and accountability in the sector.
“As parliamentarians we encourage new laws to overlook issues around corruption in the health sector to allow transparency and accountability.”
In a comment Hon Daniel Motokele expressed worry over the deteriorating health sector dispite having best institutions in the continent.
“We are not investing in health despite having the best health and education institutions in the continent.”
Lloyd Dembure SAFAIDS PITCH Country Focal Point emphasized the urgent need to push for the government to adopt the 15 percent budget allocation proclaimed in the Abuja Declaration.
“We appeal to our legislators in the parliament to help push for the adoption of Abuja declaration so that the 15% of the national budget will be prioritized towards healthcare sector.”
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget and Finance Hon Tapiwa Mhona assured that pertinent issues that emerged from the dialogue will be included in the pre-budget seminar.
“The issues to do with health affects us all and the issues raised today are crucial and we hope these will be included in the pre-budget seminar.”