The government has put in place strategies to reduce the number of patients who seek medical treatment outside the country, Minister of Health and Child Care, Constantino Guvheya Chiwenga has said.
Addressing the media yesterday, Chiwenga who is also the Vice President of Zimbabwe said government will no longer avail foreign currency to assist senior officials to seek medical treatment outside the country.
“We will not export our patients. We will not make referrals to our patients. It is everybody, ministers. Those who have been going out it is you and me. Is it not it? Altogether but that export bill was too high and that is what we want to do away with,” he said.
“Zimbabwe has a national medical bill that is high. It is, therefore, imperative that the country develops a method of containing the import bill through health care innovations for import substitution,”
“This entails inverting the import bill burden into export receipts either in part or most importantly in the whole. This will improve the funding of the national health care system,”
“We will have hospitals that will specialize in different treatment services across the country. We are restructuring from the village health worker right up to the top hospital,” Chiwenga said.
He said the new structure was a result-orientated set-up that had advantages of the “Triple Helix Model which entails the need for cooperation system between government and private sector,”
Chiwenga announced that the first phase of the restructuring of the Health and Child Care Ministry that will have nine divisions headed by chief directors including eight specialized departments.
“The nine divisions include research, biomedical engineering, biomedical science, biopharmaceutical engineering and production, general service inspectorate, logistics and assets management, personnel and external relations, human resource management, health professional councils and regulations, finance and corporate services, public health policy strategy and production and curative services,”
“In the clinical services when the country manages to avoid patients’ export or patients’ referral bill, alone through treatment capability, we shall be able to make an equivalent saving. In other words, we can turn the logic around and aim for medical tourism,” he added.