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Zimbabwe Health Minister Says Government Cracking Down on Excessive Fees


Zimbabwe Health Minister Henry Madzorera says the country needs $700 million to restore health services shattered by a decade of political and economic turmoil

Health care in Zimbabwe has improved since the unity government came into being in 2009, but many Zimbabweans say medical treatment is fast rising out of reach with doctors, hospitals and medical aid services charging high fees.

Zimbabwe Health Minister Henry Madzorera last week said the country needs $700 million to restore health services shattered by a decade of political and economic turmoil. He said this includes making sure the cost of health is sharply reduced as many now complain of excessive billing by doctors, hospitals and other health providers.

Madzorera said a "systematic decrease" in basic health care undermined services once considered among the best in the Southern African region, so it will take time to restore services to levels of a decade ago.

Zimbabwe's poorest and most vulnerable populations, particularly in rural communities, have been hard hit by soaring costs and acute shortages of drugs, resulting in rising child and maternal mortality rates

For a closer look at the rising cost of health care in Zimbabwe VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira turned to Health Minister Madzorera and Tinashe Mundawarara, head of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights health unit.

Madzorera said the government is doing all it can to hold health fees in check.

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