By Anna Chibamu
FINANCE minister Mthuli Ncube’s paltry budget allocation to the ministry of Health and Child Care for 2022 is a danger to public health and exposes the sector to a reliance on donor funding, a senior bureaucrat has said.
The ministry’s acting finance director Lynette Tennis said this during a during a post-budget consultative meeting.
Tennis told the Parliamentary Portfolio committee on Health that “government had not committed to 15% of total government budget for the sector as per Abuja commitment of 2001.
“The 2022 budget has marginally declined to 12,16% allocation compared to the 2021 allocation at 12,87%,” Tennis said.
She urged government to find more innovative financing methods for health and decrease partner dependency.
“The ministry continues to receive partner funding in various programs such as HIV and Aids, Malaria, Tuberculosis (TB), Maternal health and many others. 85% of our external funding in 2020 came from two sources, namely Global Fund (40%) and PEPFAR partners (45%) , making it more necessary for the government to look for more financing methods for health and decrease partner dependency,” Tennis told the committee.
She highlighted that late disbursement of funds by Finance ministry was delaying progress in several projects countrywide.
“Also the Covid-19 outbreak was one of the many challenges facing the ministry, shortage of project vehicles, lengthy procurement processes and lack of comprehensive maintenance plan of buildings and equipment were haunting the ministry.,” she said.
The ministry got a budget allocation of $117 billion for next year.