VICE-PRESIDENT and Health minister Constantino Chiwenga has said Zimbabwe should be the preferred destination for healthcare services.
He made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf at the official opening of this year’s Association of Health Funders of Zimbabwe annual stakeholders conference in Victoria Falls by his deputy John Mangwiro.
Chiwenga said there was need for an overhaul of the health sector so as to avoid outbound travels for health care services.
“Government wishes to see quality services in public sector facilities and good outcomes. Our country should be a preferred destination for healthcare services/in-bound medical tourism as well as reverse the outward-bound trips for healthcare services. This is why renovating and re-equipping is a priority area for which we keenly invite the Private Sector to be part of,” he said.
His remarks come at a time when the country has been subjected to attacks over its poor health system that has forced many citizens to seek medical care services in South Africa, India and China.
Ironically, Chiwenga is one of the government bureaucrats, among them President Emmerson Mnangagwa and former Vice-President Kembo Mohadi, who often fly out for medical treatment in other countries.
Chiwenga said government was committed to eliminating the challenge of mental health in the country.
“As government, we look forward to seeing aggressive programmes on prevention and as well as a deliberate focus on mental health which has not received requisite attention over the years,” he said.
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“Therefore, as you structure your packages, you should provide for both prevention and efficient management of non-communicable diseases which have become a silent killer. Mental health is a time bomb, which has been exacerbated by alcohol and drug abuse.”