ZDI’s Access to Public Health Monitoring Report for the month of December of 2021 puts into perspective the shortcomings of the country’s 2022 national budget especially how the health sector allocation falls short of the Abuja Declaration which requires 15% of the total budget to go towards health. Read on to be informed.
The health sector in Zimbabwe continues to receive funding that falls short of the universally accepted share of the country’s total budget. The advent of Covid-19 in 2019 and its ravaging effects across the globe required countries to strengthen their health disaster response systems by ensuring adequate health sector funding. In Zimbabwe as at 20 December 2021, over 192 000 people were infected by Covid-19 and the pandemic had killed more than 4 000 people.
With new Covid-19 variants being discovered, the country’s health delivery system ought to be strengthened in a bid to reduce the level of catastrophe brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. Such strengthening of health care systems is reflected by the allocation of the health sector in the country’s national budget vis-à-vis the regional standards for health financing. The Zimbabwe 2022 national budget, despite coming against a background of the ravaging effects of Covid-19, failed to meet the Abuja Declaration of allocating 15% of the total budget to health.
Health Sector Funding in the 2022 National Budget
On 25 November 2021, Minister of Finance and Economic Development Mthuli Ncube presented the country’s 2022 national budget to the Parliament of Zimbabwe. Amidst the continued spread of Covid-19 in the country just like elsewhere across the globe, expectations were high that the health sector would get adequate funding in line with the Abuja Declaration. However, as was the case in previous budgeting years, the 2021 national budget of Zimbabwe failed to allocate the 15% of the total budget to the health sector. Instead, the health sector allocation stood at 12.7% of the total ZWL$927.3 billion which is expected to be expended during the year 2022.
However, in his 22 national budget speech, Minister Mthuli Ncube boldly lied to the nation that “the 2022 national budget has allocated ZWL$117.7 billion to the Ministry of Health and Child Care which represents 14.9 of the budget.” The fact of the matter is that health ministry was allocated ZWL$117.7 billion against a total budget of ZWL$927.3 billion. As the Minister of Finance, Professor Mthuli Ncube should have found out that health sector’s allocation represents 12.7% of the total budget before making a presentation before the parliament.
Access the full report here (305KB PDF)
Source: Zimbabwe Democracy Institute