DOCTORS’ STATEMENT ON DRUG SHORTAGES AND STATE OF THE HEALTH SECTOR*~
The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) calls upon the Government of Zimbabwe to urgently address the drug shortages prevailing in the country. The shortages which have largely been driven by the monetary crisis and hyperinflation pose an existential threat to the right to healthcare in Zimbabwe.
As ZADHR we contend that health services must be available, affordable, acceptable and be of the right quality. We further note that most medical insurance cards were as of yesterday (05 October 2018) are being rejected by most pharmacies whilst on the other hand basic antibiotics like azithromycin have gone up to forty seven dollars ($47.00) for a three day course. Most pharmacies are also running out of emergency medicines and the situation in public hospitals is deteriorating by each day.
ZADHR calls upon the government to immediately address these challenges as ignoring them will lead to grave and catastrophic health consequences. ZADHR also laments the impact of devaluation and runaway inflation on the macroeconomic environment in rendering salaries of health personnel meaningless as doctors now earn an average of four hundred and fifty United States (USD450.00) dollars and nurses now earn an average of two hundred United States dollars (USD200.00). This poses a huge possibility for unrest in the health workforce thus throwing the incremental gains the collective bargaining process between health workers and government that had vaccinated health workers strikes into abyss.
ZADHR calls upon the government to prioritize foreign currency allocations towards drug procurement, health workforce retention and provision of urgent obstetric and neonatal care. Fuel quotas must be reserved to enable health facilities and workers to timeously attend to life threatening emergencies. A health time bomb is looming should these issues be neglected.
ZADHR Information Department