BY VENERANDA LANGA
HEALTH minister Obadiah Moyo on Monday bragged in Parliament that he would only be censured by President Emmerson Mnangagwa who appointed him to government and not the senior doctors, who have called for his axing due to the deteriorating health situation in the country.
Moyo said this when he appeared before the Ruth Labode-led Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health to respond to concerns raised by the Senior Hospital Doctors Association (SHDA) about mismanagement of the country’s hospitals.
In one of its pleas to Parliament, SHDA called for the censure and firing of the Health minister.
“We ask Parliament, in light of its legislative and oversight roles, to censure the Minister of Health and Child Care so that he can stop his actions that are destroying the healthcare system of the country and causing many lives to be lost, failing which it should be caused that he be relieved of his duties before he destroys the nation’s investments in healthcare that have been done over many years,” the SHDA petition read.
In response to the issue, Moyo told Parliament that he was not responsible for the rot at the country’s hospitals, adding that Mnangagwa’s new dispensation inherited an already bankrupt system.
“The current healthcare administration and government inherited a bankrupt system, with no resources, empty warehouses, no medicines and medical sundries and a minimum of US$500 million and an additional US$200 million for replacement of equipment,” Moyo said.
“On the SHDA demand that the Minister of Health must be censured, the minister serves at the pleasure of the President and his actions are a collective decision of government as his main purpose is to align policies of government for the ministry which will then be executed by employees.”
He then blamed the doctors for the deterioration of the health sector, saying that it was their industrial action that caused deaths at the country’s hospitals.
“The deaths caused by the industrial action at any institution must be investigated because the ministry has horrendous reports where nursing staff were left to attend to patients without doctors,” Moyo said.
“When the new dispensation came into power, these problems were already there for the past 20 years, and they did not start with the present government (Zanu PF under Mnangagwa).”
In their petition, SHDA also called for the disbanding of the Health Services Board, which it said was part of the health problems in the country.
The senior doctors asked Parliament to facilitate formation of a Health Services Commission.
Moyo, in response, said his ministry was looking at implementing the Constitution to set up the Health Services Commission.