By Daniel Chigundu
MDC Alliance Presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa says Zanu PF bigwigs that are seeking medical attention in foreign countries have no shame and are a disgrace to both themselves and the country.
The country’s health sector has largely been left in the hands of development partners and the donor community who literary finance everything including purchasing of painkillers and condoms.
However, as a sign of no confidence in the country’s health sector, high ranking government officials and Zanu PF bigwigs have largely been seeking medical attention in foreign countries such as South Africa, China, Singapore and India among others.
The country’s former President Robert Mugabe was a constant visitor to Singapore and China for medical check-ups and in some instances, he would charter a whole plane from Switzerland.
Current President Emmerson Mnangagwa had to be airlifted to a South African hospital last year following an alleged poisoning saga.
Addressing a campaign rally at Pfupajena Stadium in Chegutu West, Chamisa said it’s a high level being insane for Zimbabwean leaders to seek treatment in other countries.
“The moment we get into power we are going to fix the issue of social agenda…one of the issues we want to fix is healthcare such that people who are diabetic, suffering from BP, have cancer or HIV, will only need to present themselves to health institutions so that they are put on treatment programs for free.
“No one should die of cancer in my government and no minister should seek health attention in foreign countries because that is where the whole problem starts from, every person must receive treatment in their own country because you must build health institutions.
“Remember that when you go to for medical attention in foreign lands, those countries have Presidents who built those institutions to be at that top level, so why are you shaming yourself that you have a country with intelligent people and vast mineral resources then you exhibit high levels of insanity by going to seek treatment in those foreign countries,” he said.
Although Chamisa did not mention names, he could have been referring to Vice President Kembo Mohadi is reportedly in intensive care unit at a South African hospital, at a time when hospitals in the country have no essential drugs and equipment to use in treating people.
Some hospitals and clinic in rural areas are in a dilapidated state owing to lack of funds for renovations and refurbishments.
According to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Gerald Gwinji, most health institutions in the country are in a sorry-state owing to lack of adequate funding from the government.
Hospitals are also owed huge sums of money by people who enjoyed the service but have no capacity to pay and the same hospitals owe various service providers huge sums of money to the extent that they risk losing properties.
Although the government is a signatory to Abuja Declaration which mandates countries to give at least 15 percent of their total national budgets to the health sector, Zimbabwe has never met the requirement.
Chamisa added that hospitals in the country should be restored to the highest levels such that people will pretend to be sick so that they can just be at hospitals because of the world-class care, the food, the nurses, medical attention and many other services.
By Daniel Chigundu