The Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa has
expressed concern over the country's over-reliance on donors to fund the
health sector, saying it is a security risk.
The country requires at least US$59 million per year to procure essential medicines for the public sector but treasury has so far allocated just US$3,5 million.
The drug situation in public hospitals has not improved since the beginning of the year putting the country’s health delivery system under severe strain.
Most patients are having to buy their own medicine and other medical sundries, and the situation is affecting the disadvantaged members of society who cannot afford to purchase some of the drugs.
Most public hospitals have resorted to dealing with the diagnosis part of treatment as they are unable to treat patients due to the unavailability of essential drugs.
The National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPHARM), which is the country's appointed agent for procurement, storage and distribution of medical supplies to public health institutions, is unable to supply the hospitals with their requirements.
NatPHARM is owed US$24 million from as far back as 2009 and only received US$800 000 from treasury in October last year, making it unable to purchase drugs.
The public sector accounts for healthcare service delivery to more than 90% of the country’s population and stakeholders in the health sector believe drugs are an important component of treatment, requiring top priority when government crafts budget allocations.