Local commentators on health matters say the the$473.8 billion budget allocation towards the provision of health care services announced by Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube is not enough to cater to the sector’s needs.
Ncube announced a $4.5 trillion budget on Thursday, with the health allocation constituting 11% of the total budget.
Community Working Group on Health executive director Itai Rusike said:
The health budget remains grossly inadequate to fund the critical needs in the health sector.
The current health financing model remains unsustainable as it heavily relies on external financing as well as out-of-pocket spending.
In spite of the huge external support from development partners, there is still a huge financing gap in the health sector in the country which calls for greater innovation and commitment by the government to sustainably address it.
Dental Private Practitioners Association of Zimbabwe president Johannes Marisa said:
The health sector budget is an improvement from last year but of course when you are benchmarking with the Abuja Declaration you still realise that it falls short of the stipulated 15%.
We hope the budget is going to address the mass brain drain that is underway in Zimbabwe where we are losing experienced and skilled workers to greener pastures.
In his 2023 national budget presentation, Ncube acknowledged that the amount allocated to health was well below the 15% stipulated by the Abuja Declaration. Said Ncube:
In 2023, the budget has set aside 11% of total expenditures towards the health sector notwithstanding financial constraints, Government is committed to the provision of quality health services, as evidenced by the ongoing construction and rehabilitation of health facilities.
In 2023, the budget has set aside 11% of total expenditures towards the health sector and the objective is to eventually meet the Abuja Declaration of 15%.
This is necessary to attain Vision 2030 of becoming an upper middle-income economy.
In 2023, the sector is projected to receive US$212,9 million from development partners towards the same areas.