By Alois Vinga
THE Medical and Dental Practitioners Association of Zimbabwe (MDPAZ) has petitioned the government to revise downwards licensing fees, which have become exorbitant.
The grouping of various healthcare practitioners in the private sector with a membership in all the country’s districts blames such fees as the major stumbling block to register more health care facilities in the country.
Some of the members accuse these authorities of pitching up when the year begins just to collect the licensing fees, only to disappear and offer no other service thereafter.
A letter written by the association dated January 18 2022 and addressed to the Health Ministry’s permanent secretary, Rtd Air Commodore Jasper Chimedza, pleaded for a review of the high licensing fees.
“We note with great worry and concern the high and unsustainable rates that healthcare practitioners have to pay at the beginning of the year to renew personal and institutional licenses.
“These include City Health business operating licenses pegged at a minimum US$640, Medical and Dental practitioners US$155, pharmacists and nurse practitioners also pay similar rates.
“We also pay rates to the Health Professions Authority (HPA), which at this stage are waiting for a rate increase approval from your office, which will be higher than those pegged in 2022,” the health group said.
They also underscored that the Radiation Authority of Zimbabwe has also published shocking fees for licenses of general X-Ray facilities of US$1 100, and for both CT scan and MRI scans paying US$400.
Some of the members alleged that the Association of Healthcare Funders of Zimbabwe (AHFoZ) now levies US$10 just for practicing registration numbers.
“In summary, the fee structures charged by the regulatory bodies are making it difficult for our members to provide affordable healthcare, thereby making it difficult for the general population to access critical care from our members.
“We kindly ask the Ministry, through your office, to assist us to come up with affordable fees structures and even go further by removing duplication of inspection fees for those who will be operating new health care facilities,” added MDPAZ.