Maternity fees to be scrapped

Government will from next week start scrapping maternity fees from all its provincial and central hospitals countrywide to ease pressure on underprivileged expecting mothers, a senior Health ministry official has disclosed.

The development will come as “sweet music” to Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe who has been fighting for the scrapping off of maternal user fees, arguing giving birth should be regarded as a national duty.

Health and Child Welfare director of preventive services Gibson Mhlanga told journalists during a media seminar in Harare yesterday that provincial and central hospitals in major cities were expected to implement the directive next week.

“Provincial and central hospitals in big cities Harare and Bulawayo are expected to scrap off maternal user fees starting July 1 though we have not yet received the $10 million from the Ministry of Finance,” Mhlanga said.

“We hope that the money comes quickly to our ministry such that we run the service quickly as well. We have to avoid cases of mothers giving birth at home because of failure to pay maternal user fees. We are patiently waiting for the Ministry of Finance to issue out the funds as soon as possible.”

Recently, Health and Child Welfare minister Henry Madzorera told Chiweshe villagers that government was seized with the matter.

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