The newly appointed Ministry of Health and Child Care doubling as Vice President of Zimbabwe has already started restructuring the country’s healthcare system assuring health care workers that they will soon return to work.
Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, on Tuesday presented a report in Cabinet on the ongoing restructuring exercise of the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa in a media briefing soon after this week’s Cabinet meeting, said the revamping of the health system is part of government effort to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The restructuring of the Ministry of Health and Child Care is part of the Government response to the Covid-19 pandemic and revamping of the health sector.
It is expected that the wide-ranging reforms will transform the health sector by introducing systems that work in the national interest,” she said.
Government has since approved the introduction of four pillars in the health delivery system and these include pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals product manufacturing; biomedical engineering, targeting the manufacturing of ventilators, hospital beds and other essential equipment; biomedical science and laboratory science, incorporating research on pathogens and the manufacturing of consumables such as reagents and public health strategy and guidelines formulation. Cabinet report states.
During a tour of Bulawayo Kraal Irrigation Scheme in Binga last week, VP Chiwenga, promised a new era in the country’s healthcare system, saying there would be massive restructuring of the health sector.
Nurses have been on strike since June but the Health Services Board (HSB) has, however declared the industrial action as illegal with a rise in the number of Covid-19 confirmed cases sitting slightly above 5000 and several others reportedly succumbed to the pandemic.
Besides the recent 50% pay raised for civil servants, US$75 Covid-19 allowances were offered as a temporary arrangement to cushion Government workers while ongoing salary negotiations continue.
Before the appointment of VP Chiwenga, was Dr Obadiah Moyo who was relieved of his duties on corruption charges and criminal abuse of office. Moyo is currently on a $50 000 bail pending trial.
Reached for comment on the leadership of VP Chiwenga with regards to revamping the health sector, a health care worker who preferred anonymity expressed optimism saying VP Chiwenga has potential to deliver the Health Ministry from the current problems bedeviling it.
“I have always told people that this man will deliver health care from the current problems. If not disturbed, I have no doubt that he will lead us into a prosperous future. Let’s support him, that’s the spirit.”
Liberty Pazvakawambwa SADC News Correspondent