Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Health reporter
Medicines and medical sundries procured under a facility of US$20 million availed by Government recently have started arriving in the country.
The first consignment, which cover all essential medicines arrived on Thursday and more consignments are expected to be delivered in the coming weeks.
A further US$20 million facility of more medicines and equipment is also being finalised.
The medicines and equipment are being funded by Government and are procured through the National Pharmaceutical Company (Natpharm).
The arrival of this first batch and other anticipated deliveries is expected to see an improvement in the state of the public health delivery system.
This development is also expected to see senior doctors, who have been providing emergency services only for the past three months citing inadequate medicines and equipment returning to work.
Speaking to The Herald soon after the arrival of the consignment at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, the secretary for Finance and Economic Development Mr George Guvamatanga said Government was doing all it can to improve social services in the country.
“Medicines have started arriving in the country and we anticipate more to come in the coming weeks and months so we are really prioritising social services such as health and education,” said Mr Guvamatanga.
Mr Guvamatanga said Government is also finalising a similar arrangement for medicines and sundries to the tune of US$20 million.
Once this arrangement is finalised, we also expect more medicines to be delivered in the country, he said.
He said Government also have plans to build about 83 more hospitals throughout the country on similar arrangements.
“The new dispensation is comprised of people with commercial experience who have the ability to structure deals with foreign investors.
This will allow certain products or services to come into the country on certain arrangements,” said Mr Guvamatanga.
He said coupled with negotiations for cost of living adjustments, these arrangements were expected to improve the status of public health delivery system.
Mr Guvamatanga said Government was hopeful that a deal will be brokered between doctors and the rest of the health workforce with Government in relation to cost of living adjustments.
“Government is alert to challenges the people are facing and working flat out to respond to them but we should also take into account what we are collecting,” he said.
Local representative of the Switzerland based supplier, Drax Consulting Sagl, which has the tender to supply the initial US$20 million worth of drugs said consignments will be delivered every month for the next four months.
Mr Nguwaya said the batch was part of the first consignment for this month, worth US$2,5 million.
The next delivery from this consignment is expected on Saturday.
Government has been making frantic efforts to capacitate public health institutions through procurement of medicines and equipment. There are also plans to capacitate local pharmaceutical manufacturs, establish more manufacturing plants, including toll manufacturing to ease availability and affordability of medical products in both public and private sector.