Health Sector Funding Increases By 45% In 2018 Budget

By Michael Gwarisa 

Funding to the health sector has increased by 45%, from $281 million that was allocated in 2017 to $408 million for the 2018 period.

Presenting the 2018 National Budget statement, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Hon Patrick Chinamasa said Government is currently implementing high impact measures whose key focus is strengthening service delivery, including primary care and hospital services, with the support of development partners.

“In furtherance to improving coverage and quality of public health care services, total health expenditures during 2018 amount to US$729.4 million, with Budget appropriations and Levy Funds contributing US$489.8 million to this, and development partners, US$239.6 million.

“The US$486.6 million Government resources proposed for the continued provision of healthcare under the 2018 Budget includes:
employment costs, US$297.4 million; Operations and maintenance, US$119.6 million; and Capital expenditure, US$37 million.
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This follows disbursements of US$248.6 million towards the provision of public health care services from rural health centres to central hospitals over the period January to September 2017, inclusive of US$215.1 million for employment costs for health care personnel,” said Minister Chinamasa.

Meanwhile,  the 2018 budget will also look at levy funds which are inclusive of US$35.8 million from the AIDS Levy, and US$30 million from the Health Fund Levy, whose income is ring– fenced for the purchase of medicines and medical equipment at all levels of care.

This year, the Health Fund receipted revenue amounting to US$21.9 million during the ten months to October 2017. The US$239.6 million resource envelope from development partners to complement 2018 Budget appropriations is supported by the, Global Fund, US$173.8 million; Health Development Fund, US$58.1 million; and Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, US$7.7 million.

“The capital expenditure provision of US$26.7 million, will focus on rehabilitating central, provincial and district hospitals as well as the construction of six rural health centres, namely Mbuya Maswa and Chiromo in Zaka, Chibila in Binga, Siyabuwa in Gokwe, Dongamuzi in Lupane and Munemo in Nyanga.

“Furthermore, a provision of US$8.2 million is being appropriated for the procurement of medical equipment at district hospitals
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“NATPHARM will be allocated US$1 million for the construction of medicine warehouses in Bulawayo, Masvingo and Mutare to increase its capacity for cost effective bulk procurement, storage and distribution.”

Chinamasa also said heightened efforts will be pursued to reduce the incidence of malaria and new infections of HIV, improving early detection of outbreaks and reducing TB related illnesses and deaths, amongst other interventions targeting communicable diseases. In this regard, the Global Fund resources of US$173.8 million will be directed towards the various HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria.

“Key strategies to address Non Communicable Diseases, inclusive of cancers, will embrace strengthening primary prevention activities, early detection, diagnosis and treatment as well as palliative care and rehabilitation.

“Accordingly, the 2018 Budget proposes to appropriate US$2.6 million for the purpose.”

 

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