Tourism Industry Could Fund Zim Healthcare

HEALTH experts have called on Zimbabwe’s government to consider broadening the health financing net by tapping into better performing sectors such as tourism among others.

By Michael Gwarisa

Zimbabwe’s health sector is currently reeling from under-funding with majority of financial resources coming from donors and the international community. However, there have been growing calls from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and health economists to consider mobilising domestic financial resources to fund health sector operations.

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Assistant Country Representative, Abigail Msemburi said the tourism sector was currently one of the best performing industries and  government needed find ways of complementing already existing health financing avenues.

The tourism sector is doing very well in terms of generating revenue for the country. Some of the revenue generated from tourism could comes to fund what is already there over and above what comes from the ministry of finance and what comes from the donors.

“That way, I think it will help and ensure that at least we have another stream of fund that comes in rather than just focus of donors. As Zimbabwe, we heavily rely on donors and I think we need to start moving away from that and become self-sufficient,” said Msemburi.

She added that tourism was a low hanging fruit and could transform the health sector’s fortunes in a positive way. Early this year, the ministry of tourism and hospitality industries reported that tourism receipts breached the US$1 billion mark as the sector moves to generating at least US$7 Billion earnings by 2030.

Director Family Health in the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC), Dr Benard Madzima said it was time government looked at alternative means of boosting healthcare funding to complement the existing revenue streams which include the Airtime levy and the AIDS Levy.

“Let’s look at agriculture, tourism, mining and other sectors to support and come up with activities which generate resources,” said Dr Madzima.

The Health sector was recently allocated $6,5 billion next year allowing significant improvement in the health delivery system and sustaining gains already made in the sector.

 

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