Government pays $43 million to NBSZ
THE government has paid $43 million to the National Blood Service of Zimbabwe (NBSZ) as part of efforts to clear an outstanding debt of $126 million.
The move follows the recent suspension of the blood coupon system for all hospitals by the NBSZ in response to the government’s failure to settle its debt to the blood bank.
Deputy Health minister John Mangwiro told the Daily News on Sunday $43 million had been paid to NBSZ in efforts to clear the debt and capacitate the blood bank.
In a statement, NBSZ indicated that it had taken a position to stop accepting blood coupons from government health institutions with effect from July 7, 2020, adding that all hospitals were now required to pay for products and services in advance until further notice.
“Credit facility can only be extended to a hospital after completion and approval of the credit application form. The cost of critical raw materials and consumables required for collection and processing of blood components has continued to escalate as a result of the current inflationary environment.
“In order to maintain the quality of our products and adequacy, it has become necessary to suspend the blood coupons facility until payment modalities have been agreed upon between the NBSZ and Ministry of Health and Child Care,” read the statement.
statement added that the NBSZ Board had reviewed the financial position of the service and resolved that user fee for public institutions, medical aid societies and other health funders shall be paid strictly in US dollars or at an exchange rate equivalent to the Old Mutual Implied Rate or other comparable exchange rate.
NBSZ public affairs manager, Esther Massundah confirmed that the government had indeed transferred $43,5 million into the NBSZ account.
“Yes we can confirm that a payment was received from the Ministry of Health and Child Care and the suspension on blood coupons has been lifted. Meanwhile, whatever further modalities which are needed will be discussed between the Ministry of Health and the NBSZ.
“NBSZ will be in consultations and discussions with the Ministry of Health on a payment plan for the remaining balance,” Massundah said.