GUTU South legislator Dr Paul Chimedza says the 2018 budget as sexy as it might sound is a vivid sign of misplaced priorities by government judging by the budgetary allocations and failure by the budget to meet the 15% Abuja declaration allocation target to the health sector.
By Michael Gwarisa
The cry comes at the back of a 16% allocation that was made to security ministries of Defense and Home affairs against a flimsy 7.6% the ministry of health got from the national cake.
Briefing a CWGH Post Budget meeting in Harare, Dr Chimedza said the health sector should be given priority when it comes to budgeting but unfortunately, that is not happening in Zimbabwe.
“It is shocking to note that some sectors got huge chunks of money after government reduced expenditure in some areas like foreign travel. If expenditure can be cut to increase funding to other sectors, why cant we have that very money channeled towards the health sector.
[pullquote]”The ministry of health must be given first priority but unfortunately that is not happening,” said Dr Chimedza[/pullquote]
The ministry of Home Affairs got $433 million, while the ministry of Defense got $420 mln, Primary education, $905 mln, and Health got $408 mln.
“We need to have accountability in the sector, we can not however just allocate more money to the sector if we do not know and see how it is being used.
“We as the Portfolio Committee on health will not stop pushing for the attainment of the 15% Abuja target whuch stipulates that the health ministry should get at least 15% from the national budget.”
Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Abuja Declaration of 2001 in which African Union countries pledged to allocate at least 15 percent of their annual budgets to improving the health sector. Since then, the country is yet to meet the target. In the 2018 budget, the health sector only got 7%.