THE Ministry of Health and Child Care has dispatched a fresh team to reassess the usage of Targeted Approach funds in government hospitals. The reassessment is expected to result in the prosecution of government hospital officials implicated in corruption, underhand dealings, flouting of State Procurement Board (SPB) regulations and procedures in the procurement of medical equipment under the fund.
The government ordered the new investigation following documented abuse of the funds by institutions such as Mnene Hospital in Mberengwa and Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo among other health institutions. In an interview after a tour of Gweru Provincial Hospital yesterday, Health and Child Care Minister David Parirenyatwa said there were many health institutions in the country that had not properly accounted for the Target Approach funds.
Parirenyatwa said the government sought to close loopholes that had allowed the abuse to continue. “Our teams are going back to reassess how the Targeted Approach money was used. We’re going to visit hospitals like Mnene and assess how the money they received was used. I’m sure there’re many hospitals in that situation,” said Parirenyatwa.
“We’re doing this nationwide and that will help us to come up with the way forward on the usage of any money that comes into the health institutions, be it donor money or from the government.” Parirenyatwa said government health institutions, which were the last resort for the ordinary Zimbabweans, should be funded well by treasury.
He said the government health institutions should not be allowed to rely on donor funds for survival when government was there. He revealed: “Midlands as a province was allocated $460,000 in the national budget but to date only $3,000 has been disbursed. We continue to lobby the rest of the government and treasury to look at this priority area of health.
“You can’t begin to allocate $460,000 and disburse just $3,000. We need everybody to assist us because our hospitals will not do better if we don’t give them resources and they start relying on unreliable donor fund. “The government should come up and lead from the front and start putting resources in the health sector.
“This is what we call a support visit where we’re monitoring the situation on the ground and we’ve been going around the country doing that. “I’m beginning to appreciate that our staff is working very hard with limited resources and under quite difficult circumstances.”
Dr Parirenyatwa said it was a welcome development that Gweru Provincial Hospital operates an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) ward to serve lives especially of road accident victims. He said there was need for all hospitals along the country’s major highways to have ICUs to improve their efficiency in attending to road accident victims.
Today the minister tours Zvishavane and Mberengwa hospitals.