Vice President Constantino Chiwenga on Wednesday briefed foreign and local development partners and suppliers on the new structures in the Ministry of Health and Child Care and other moves taken to boost efficiency and expand local capacity.
The new structure is expected to increase health-related exports, address conditions of service for health professionals, champion a sustainable funding model and create a work ethic.
Government was happy to work with all stakeholders in its quest to improve the health system.
“It is with great pleasure that I host you, soon after being appointed by His Excellency the President ED Mnangagwa, as the Minister of Health and Child Care,” he said.
“I accepted this onerous responsibility with full awareness that I would have people like you to complement my efforts as I implement the Government of Zimbabwe’s vision for the health sector. It is therefore against this background that I extend a warm welcome to you all, as colleagues and partners in development of Zimbabwe’s health services sector.
“The desire is to have a national health care system that ensures equitable access to health care services of sufficient quality to all, thereby, leaving no-one behind.
“Our vision is, therefore, underpinned by the requirement to restructure the Ministry and introduce a new working culture premised on sound work ethics reflecting professional maturity, focus, hard work and patriotism.”
Some international partners led by the People’s Republic of China had also come to Zimbabwe’s aid in a very strong way in support.
“It is my considerable belief that we benefit more from interacting. A lot of grey areas are cleared. Your interest in contributing to the turnaround of Zimbabwe’s health delivery system is greatly appreciated.
“We need to have more of such meetings going forward. I am convinced that we will be able to improve the healthcare system in this country together rather than through disjointed efforts,” said VP Chiwenga.
“The Government vision and perspective to revive the health services sector that I have outlined to you can be enhanced with your support.
“It is, therefore, my honour to kindly ask for your valuable insights towards making the ministry the best that it can be.”
When he announced the completion of the first phase of the restructuring on Monday, VP Chiwenga said the model has been used with considerable success in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Zimbabwe’s Covid-19 recovery rate has increased sharply from less than 26 percent to over 80 percent in the last three weeks and the national response to Covid-19 was also boosted after nurses ended their industrial action.
Meanwhile, Charismatic MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has hailed new Minister of Health and Child Care, Vice President General (Rtd) Constantino Chiwenga’s decision to stop availing foreign currency to assist Cabinet Ministers and other senior government officials in seeking treatment in foreign hospitals as "commendable".
"Export ban commendable!" Chamisa tweeted. This comes after Chiwenga had told the media at his New Munhumutapa government offices that the state had stopped footing the medical bills of all senior government officials in order to maintain the national medical bill.
Senior government officials including Mnangagwa and his two vice-presidents, Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi are well-known for travelling outside the country to receive treatment following years of neglect of the Zimbabwe public system.
Chiwenga this year used a chartered flight several times to travel to China for medical check-ups as he battles chronic ailment that has seen him in and out of the hospital.
Last year, Chamisa told party supporters in Masvingo that he was worried over his 'old man' Chiwenga’s absence from public life when the decorated former army general spent months in Chinese hospital.
Addressing a rally at Mucheke Stadium in Masvingo in July last year, Chamisa said, "I am really worried about Chiwenga. I haven’t seen him for a long time. Mudhara wangu (my old man) Chiwenga, I don’t know if he is okay. I am really worried."
"Vamwe venyu hamuna kuchangamuka … waunotamba naye bhora haasi muvengi wako. Ko ukashaya anovhura deya unonzvenga ani?" (The person you play football with is not your enemy, as you can’t dribble yourself in a game).
"That’s why I am missing my old man. Ko makamuisa kupi. Ari kupi?" (Where did you put Chiwenga, where is he at the moment?)