By Leopold Munhende
ZIMBABWE Fight Inequality Alliance (ZFIA), a coalition of 18 civic society organisations (CSOs) says 15% of the 2022 national budget must be allocated to the health sector.
It said the allocation was in adherence with the Abuja Declaration, and also as a way of motivating health personnel in the beleaguered sector.
In ZFIA’s recommendation to the 2022 budget, it said Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube should prioritise the welfare of health workers amongst other key recommendations made.
“The health allocation for the 2022 National Budget must be at least 15% of the total budget in line with the Abuja Declaration,” reads part of their contributions shared with NewZimbabwe.com
“The welfare of the health workers and practitioners must be prioritised for motivation and guaranteed. This must be done by addressing the salary standoff with health workers.
“Primary health care centres and Covid-19 centres must be fully equipped, capacitated with medical drugs, equipment and ensure that maternal health care is adequately funded to address the plight of women.”
Nurses, doctors, and other health workers have been staging strikes over longstanding grievances concerning low salaries and poor working conditions.
The government, which at one time fired all nurses on industrial action, has failed to improve their salaries and working conditions.
Added ZFIA: “The Covid-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the inadequacies of the country’s public health care systems and this has since been worsened with the pressures and demands from the pandemic. Citizens’ right to basic health care is, therefore, compromised.”
Other recommendations by ZFIA to Treasury include a 4.5% of the budget to be set aside for social protection, setting aside resources for the education sector as students lost the greater part of 2022/21 to Covid-19, and ensuring food security by allocating at least 10% to the revival of the agricultural production.
ZFIA also noted the need for the government to prioritise water and sanitaion, energy supply and taxation, which it said were weighing heavily on the poor.
The Finance Minister is expected to table his 2022 national budget before Parliament at the end of this month.