Harare retains 2020 health fees structure

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Tarisai Machakaire

SENIOR STAFF WRITER

machakairet@dailynews.co.zw

COUNCIL hospitals and clinics in Harare will retain this year’s fees structure in 2021 in a bid to improve access to health for residents.

According to the city’s 2021 budget proposal, clinic fees would remain at $417 for adults and $250 for children, while the caesarean section will continue to attract  a charge of $12 510, with maternity fees remaining at $2 000.

“Hospital and clinic fees will remain as per 2020 rates to promote access to health for all. It is expected that government grants for drugs and related programmes will cover the shortfall as well as contribution from property tax,” reads part of the city council’s 2021 budget proposal.

The council, however, insisted that their proposals would only be viable if residents religiously pay their bills.

“The successful implementation of the programmes spelt out above requires that the various stakeholders, including the residents and ratepayers of the City of Harare,  pay their bills when they fall due.

“There is political will from all of us to ensure that residents, business, industry, commerce and government must pay. So everyone must pay for services, there is a cost to doing business or living in an urban set-up. This is the only way your council will be able to provide services to their expectation,” the municipality said.

Harare Residents Trust chairperson Precious Shumba applauded the council for the initiative that would ensure universal access to health.

“Health is a very critical social service issue. Access to health services is a human rights and basic needs issue, which should be getting more funding and resources from both the council budget and the national treasury.

“Our expectation is that the council will prioritise health services provision, maintain reasonable and affordable fees for all health services. We commend the city of Harare for retaining the 2020 fees for health services.

“Increasing charges has the effect of making health unaffordable to more people and jeopardising public health services. The council should strive to reopen all council health facilities,” Shumba said.

Harare has 12 polyclinics comprising primary care clinics, family health services and maternity units; satellite clinics and two hospitals — Wilkins and Beatrice Road infectious diseases hospitals.

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