THE Government should capacitate the country’s health sector so that health care can be affordable to every Zimbabwean.
Debating in the Upper House on Sustainable Development Goal Number 3 “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”, Senators on Tuesday last week said the country’s healthcare system was out of the reach to the ordinary people.
They said the prices of drugs were very high while public hospitals spelt a gloomy picture for those seeking health care.
The senator representing people living with disabilities, Mr Nyamayabo Mashavakure, said the Government should capacitate pharmaceutical companies to ensure that it can control the pricing of medical drugs.
He said the price increase saw medical drugs shooting up in some cases by over 100 percent. “There is also the issue of medication, though it is not the only thing but it is one of the things that make us have good health.
“Therefore, Government should consider resourcing our pharmaceutical companies so that they will be able to produce affordable medication so that we will be able to curb certain diseases like malaria, TB and HIV. Companies like CAPS and Datlabs are Government companies and even privately owned companies should make drugs which are competitive. This will help in making drugs affordable,” said Sen Mashavakure.
Zanu-PF senator for Harare Charles Tavengwa weighed in the debate saying the public hospitals painted a distressful picture for those seeking medical treatment.
He said in most cases a sense of despair is witnessed when one enters the country’s public hospitals.
“There are times when one dreads to enter a hospital, especially our public hospitals. When you approach or enter the wards, there is this air of desperation, smell of sickness or ailing in the air, there is fear of death and you are witnessing winding queues; people screaming and wailing, usually that is after the death of someone,” said Tavengwa.
Zanu-PF Mashonaland West senator Tapera Machingaifa said hospitals should provide a model of a healthy system which is not the case with most of the country’s rural hospitals. He said some rural hospitals were operating without ambulances, dysfunctional mortuaries and in some cases uncommitted staff members. “When I look again at these hospitals, we need to live a healthy life.
“When we grew up, we heard that the health officials would take an oath of allegiance, showing that they want to help people who are sick. They were in the health sector not for finances but they would get their salaries after their dedication to duty. When you get into that hospital, these health providers will be busy on WhatsApp on their phones, leaving the sick alone,” he said.