THE Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) has revised downwards its monthly target for revenue collected from the 5% health levy to ZW$10.5 million down from their initial projection of ZW$17 million per month for the year 2020.
By Michael Gwarisa
The development follows a series of mobile tariff increases by local mobile network operators in the past few months which has led to a reduction in spending on voice calls by citizens on their cellphones.
Ministry of Health Director Finance and Administration, Mrs Heather Machamire said collections from the health levy were dwindling and having a negative impact on health levy collections.
We did a forecast of the health levy collections despite the fact that the tariffs keep going up. But what we have also noted is that because the tariffs keep going up, people have actually stopped spending as much as they would have on their phones.
“We had made initially a projection of about ZW$17 million per moth but then we reduced it to about ZW$10.5 million seeing how much has been coming in. We are projecting an average of ZW$10.5 million per month and we project that for the year 2020 we will get about ZW$125 million from the health levy,” said Mrs Machamire.
She added that the 2020 health levy budget projections based on that 125 million and according to the terms of reference of the fund, medicines and medical supplies will receive 80% equipment 15%, while other needs will receive 5%.
[pullquote]“For medicines and medical supplies we anticipate that there will be ZW$100 million towards that and medical diagnostic equipment will get about ZW$18 million and other, there will be ZW$6.2 million.”[/pullquote]
Meanwhile, Government has received at least ZW$46.9 million from the health levy for the year 2019 and says it will explore other revenue generation avenues going forward to complement the health levy.
“From that money we have paid about ZW$13 million to the National Blood Service of Zimbabwe (NBSZ), ZW$1.6 million has gone to support the institutions for Dialysis, ZW$5.1 million have also gone to support the institutions for medical gases so that our patients font have to pay this from their pockets.
“For medical supplies we have channeled ZW$25 million for the purchase of medicines from the levy. That leaves us with a balance of ZW$654,000 but we still have some amount outstanding from The Ministry of Finance for the Month of August.”