Forex Challenges Hamper Cimas Operations

CIMAS Group chief executive officer Mr Vulindlela Ndlovu says the volatile local currency coupled with forex scarcity detrimentally affect their operations which heavily rely on imports.

By Kudakwashe Pembere

He said this on the sidelines of the Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo’s familiarization tour of their laboratories.

“We are basically here to allow our stakeholders to tour our laboratories and to show them what is happening here. And we are delighted that the minister could be the guest of honour today. He had a familiarization tour to show the capabilities of our laboratories but also for us to share with him some of the challenges we face on our day to day operations.

“At the moment a business as this relies on foreign currency. All our inputs, the expertise and there is also the physical inputs like the reagents we use in the laboratories. The equipment that we use unfortunately for us, all that is imported. So we have a very high import content in the laboratory operation,” he said.

Mr Ndlovu said the interbank forex rates are making it hard to access.

“Up to 30 percent is imported and unfortunately in the last twelve months there has been a shortage of forex. That has severely curtailed our operations. While the situation has improved in terms of availability of forex in the past few months, the one problem we have now is the currency depreciation at the current interbank rates.

“It means availability of foreign currency becomes a challenge because we rely on customers that must pay, patients that must pay. The rates have gone up rather high and irrelative to what the general populace can afford. So there is a serious mismatch on the cost of inputs and what revenue you can generate,” he said.

He emphasized on the need to accord the health sector foreign currency.

“The one thing you should remember about the health sector is that we are still quite dependent on the imports like I said. It’s not just the laboratories. But the highest import content we have got is the medicines and drugs.

“Over the years, our local capacity has gone down tremendously. We find that quite a high percentage of our medicines are imported and that has an impact.  But also as technology changes in medicines all these things are imported. So really the foreign currency stability is one of the most significant things that needs to happen,” said Mr Ndlovu.

The Health Minister said to prove Government’s commitment in private public partnerships for the betterment of the health sector, Cimas laboratories and other laboratories should participate in a tender floated recently.

st few months, the one problem we have now is the currency depreciation at the current interbank rates.

“It means availability of foreign currency becomes a challenge because we rely on customers that must pay, patients that must pay. The rates have gone up rather high and irrelative to what the general populace can afford. So there is a serious mismatch on the cost of inputs and what revenue you can generate,” he said.

He emphasized on the need to accord the health sector foreign currency.

“The one thing you should remember about the health sector is that we are still quite dependent on the imports like I said. It’s not just the laboratories. But the highest import content we have got is the medicines and drugs.

“Over the years, our local capacity has gone down tremendously. We find that quite a high percentage of our medicines are imported and that has an impact.  But also as technology changes in medicines all these things are imported. So really the foreign currency stability is one of the most significant things that needs to happen,” said Mr Ndlovu.

The Health Minister said to prove Government’s commitment in private public partnerships for the betterment of the health sector, Cimas laboratories and other laboratories should participate in a tender floated recently.

few months, the one problem we have now is the currency depreciation at the current interbank rates.

“It means availability of foreign currency becomes a challenge because we rely on customers that must pay, patients that must pay. The rates have gone up rather high and irrelative to what the general populace can afford. So there is a serious mismatch on the cost of inputs and what revenue you can generate,” he said.

He emphasized on the need to accord the health sector foreign currency.

“The one thing you should remember about the health sector is that we are still quite dependent on the imports like I said. It’s not just the laboratories. But the highest import content we have got is the medicines and drugs.

“Over the years, our local capacity has gone down tremendously. We find that quite a high percentage of our medicines are imported and that has an impact.  But also as technology changes in medicines all these things are imported. So really the foreign currency stability is one of the most significant things that needs to happen,” said Mr Ndlovu.

The Health Minister said to prove Government’s commitment in private public partnerships for the betterment of the health sector, Cimas laboratories and other laboratories should participate in a tender floated recently.

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