HomeNewsSalaries consume bulk of Health ministry’s budget

Salaries consume bulk of Health ministry’s budget


GOVERNMENT has been urged to ensure that hospital expenditure budgets be tilted in favour of service provision instead of staff salaries.


A local health pressure group, Citizens Health Watch, said since 2009, government had failed to allocate adequate resources towards the needs of patients resulting in staff salaries consuming the the bulk of the Health ministry’s budget.

Citizens Health Watch (CHW) trustee Fungisai Dube said international best practices were that the health expenditure should be of the ratio of 30:70 for wage and non-wage expenditure.

“A larger portion of the health expenditure should go towards meeting the needs of patients who are the intended beneficiaries of health institutions as these institutions are primarily there for citizens or patients,” said Dube.

“Recently, it was reported that Mpilo Hospital was spending $7 000 per month hiring an executive vehicle for its chief executive officer while the hospital was facing serious medicinal and equipment shortages,” she said.

A CHW monitor Ellen Mombeshora said:“Patients are asked to bring their buckets of water and even syringes at hospitals, and there is need for accountability and transparency on how public funds are used by health institutions. In order to promote transparency and accountability, CHW is of the view that the public health institutions should be audited by internal and external auditors and the results made public.”

“Freezing of nurses’ posts as a cost cutting measure by government in 2012 brought dire consequences for patients who suffered due to poor health services compounded by shortages of health staff. There is need for government to reduce the patient to nurse ratio to improve services,” said another CHW trustee.

In the 2014 National Budget, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa allocated $337 million (8, 2% of the total budget) towards health, and yet the Abuja Declaration on Health of 2001 of which Zimbabwe is a signatory stipulated 15% of the budget should go towards health.

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