New health law on the cards

HARARE – Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa has announced that government is working on a new law which seeks to establish an independent regulatory authority to end disputes between medical aid societies and doctors.

Parirenyatwa told journalists after touring the Sally Mugabe Kidney Transplant unit at Chitungwiza Central Hospital yesterday that his ministry will soon be forwarding the Bill to the Attorney-General for guidance.

“The latest on the medical aid societies is that we want to put forward a Bill, to allow for an authority, because the ministry cannot handle it.

It has to be an authority and that Bill, would enable that,” Parirenyatwa said.

“Yesterday (Wednesday), VaGwinji (ministry of Health and Child Care permanent secretary) was there to try and put the Bill together so that it goes to the AG’s Office.”

Medical aid societies and doctors have been rowing over tariffs and delays in payments in a long drawn-out saga which this year threatened to collapse the entire country’s healthcare system after doctors announced they were rejecting medical aid cards until they were paid more than $220 million owed to them.

Meanwhile, government has committed $3,5 million towards the purchasing of drugs which have been in critical shortage at the country’s hospitals.

“We got a letter from the ministry of Finance, which was written to the Reserve Bank governor (John Mangudya) where they have been allowed $3,5 million to purchase drugs using treasury bills.

“I got that letter last week. That would be a very good thing,” Parirenyatwa revealed.

“We have received the letter to say how we do the purchases; it’s now a question of these companies to do the purchases for us.”

On the kidney transplant unit, Parirenyatwa said they were waiting for full equipping of the unit, with medical practitioners for the unit having already gone for further training outside the country.

“They sent people outside the country for further training and those people have come back, it is a question now of finishing the issues of properly equipping it so that it becomes completely operational.

“So, we are giving them a chance to be centre of excellence in kidney transplant in this country,” said Parirenyatwa. -Daily News

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