THE Association for Health Funders of Zimbabwe (AHFoZ) has welcomed the ban of multiple currencies in local transactions noting this will regularize the healthcare supply chain.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
This move comes barely a month after AHFoZ told parliamentarians there was need to have a uniform pricing regime in the healthcare sector after observing how healthcare providers charged in foreign currency at the expense of the majority which hardly has that money. The association recommended the sole currency of the Zimbabwean Dollar or dollarisation.
AHFoZ chief executive officer Mrs Shylet Sanyanga told HealthTimes on Tuesday that the abolishment of other currencies for local transactions brings stability within the healthcare supply chain.
“What we were calling for was the use of a one functional currency so that there is uniformity throughout the healthcare supply chain. There was that mismatch whereby service providers were charging in foreign currency and yet salaries were still in local currency and an ordinary person didn’t have the foreign currency. So now I think we have that uniformity in the supply chain,” she said.
She emphasised the need to provide forex to healthcare providers that depend on it.
“The only comment that I would just like to highlight is that we hope that foreign currency will still be available for those healthcare service providers that require foreign currency to restock. For example the pharmaceutical sector, the laboratories, hospitals for their consumables, radiologists. We still have healthcare providers that require foreign currency to restock,” said Mrs Sanyanga.
Meanwhile, retail pharmacies reportedly removed some medicines off their shelves while others quoted prices in the local currency during the day while at night reverting to the United States Dollars.
Through Statutory Instrument (SI) 142 of 2019, known as Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (Legal Tender) Regulations, Government outlawed the use of multiple currencies such as British pound, United States dollar, South African rand, and Botswana pula, among others.
With effect from yesterday, the local dollar, the Zimbabwe Dollar is now the only legal tender, nearly a decade after it was destroyed by hyperinflation.