Doctors' fee hike sparks outrage

HARARE - Government has hiked consultation fees for doctors  by close to 100 percent.

In a notice published in the Government Gazette last Friday, Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa said the hike must be implemented immediately.

Zimbabweans are now required to pay $35 to consult a general practitioner from $20 and follow-up consultations will now attract $30 from the previous $15.

Doctors consultation fees went up to $60 for weekend visits and $70 for night visits.

Amid the hike, our reporter Wendy Muperi took to the streets of Harare to gauge public opinion on the latest hike.

Godfrey Matava (50)

“Izvi zvinotongoreva kuparara kwedu. We have already been struggling to pay. Increasing fees in this scenario means we no longer have a guarantee to life.”

Chirapa Godfrey (51)

Even though some are on medical aid, they are asked to pay when they go to service providers because Premier Service Medical Aid Society is not honouring its dues.  I am a civil servant  and the development means we will fall ill, stay at home, if I am to die, I die.

Instead of us moving forward, we are going backwards. We are going back to the 2008 era of hopelessness. I do not know if that is what they want but that is where we are going.”

James Moyana (37)

“The life I am already living is tough. I do not have any way of manoeuvring.  The little that I get is already covering the little I own in life. Now zvatova tricky, kana ndangorwara ndichatongoramba ndiri mumba kusvika zvazongonzi vashayira mumba. Where do I go when I know I do not have money?”

Margaret Mukazi (60)

“I will be sick and you know it normally happens when one does not have money, then I am now required to pay double what I used to pay, that is not good. Life is already difficult, we expect policy makers to find ways of making it bearable. It is not everyone who has money, we do not have money. Even when you are working, the money is normally a pittance.”

Tawanda Jakata (32)

“A medical fee hike equally affects us with medical aid because I have other members of my family who are not on my medical cover. We have to contribute for their treatment as a family. It becomes more financially draining. In general, a rise in any price is never welcome. It does not matter whether it is bread or a sweets, it triggers inflation.”

Kandikore Junior (41)

This is very bad. It is totally unacceptable to increase charges when no one has received any increment. More people are going to die because they will not be able pay that much. We know our hospitals and doctors have been short changing clients with shoddy services. What has changed to warrant this rise? This is the US dollar, not the Zimdollar.”

Silas Jena (44)

“There is no order in Zimbabwe. Anyone can just wake up  and start selling a sweet for $25 and if it is bought then that is it; they continue making a living from it.

This is one situation that leaves us with no option but to sacrifice because I cannot watch my child die.”

Comments (11)

hapana anochema ndizvo zvamakavhoterta bhora mugedhi

general - 27 May 2014

The newly gazetted fees though too high for Zim citizens at this point in time, are nothing if bench marked regionally. What needs to happen is to ensure the economy recovers so that people can afford efficient health delivery services nationwide.

Gudo - 27 May 2014

Nhai Gudo, what is the regionally marked salary for a teacher, nurse, domestic worker, etc? What is the regionally marked price of a loaf of bread? Tisangomhanya kuti regionally, regionally pese pese when already we are bleeding locally.

kitsi - 27 May 2014

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watertec - 27 May 2014

This just does to show that the elected members of parliament represent other interest other than those of the electorate who voted them into power

Zakapresser - 27 May 2014

Premier Medical Aid Society was blowing money meant for service providers on huge salaries and perks for management. This is a simple realignment of their core expenditure to service providers who have been impoverished since dollarization. PSMAS have been spending 56% of their budget on administration, salaries and perks! Medical Aid societies have a conflict of interest playing both roles and provider and purchaser of services. They simply stopped paying the dues for service providers to drive them out of business so that they could provide poor quality services as a monopoly and cut costs and post huge profits for themselves as individuals ! The government should provide good quality care in public institutions which are affordable and those who are medically insured or who can afford can access alternative care in the private sector. Has anybody bothered to query how much lawyers, accountants, engineers and other service providers charge in private? Seven years in medical school is not a joke ! This is a syatem failure and NOT the fault of doctors or Minister Pari!

Mudha - 27 May 2014

There is rampant corruption and ZNFPC Spilhaus by the nurses, the Sister In Charge being the chief culprit. Can the authority do samething. At one point you told that there are no drugs but later you are told i can find the drugs for you if you give the nurse the money. Most people who go the Spilhaus are government employees and the ordinary person who does not have money. All the little money is going to individual pockets. They drive expensive cars and their atire do not resemble people who need to assist. Please the Minister and Deputy Minister of Health do something. Taneta nekubirwa munyika yedu.

lorry - 28 May 2014

Ndozvatakasarudza munaJuly last year.

Chakachaya - 28 May 2014

You are right Kitsi that people are already bleeding locally. However, retention of the same professionals you referred to inclusive of Doctors, so that they do not leave the country for elsewhere and at least continue offering their much needed services is highly depended on what they are paid, and regional bench marks significantly influences this. Put in simple langauge, complaining about Dr's fees hiking doesn't help at all, Zim has to deal with its economic troubles in order to make things right for the welfare of all citizens.

Gudo - 28 May 2014

when i tell people kuti bato iri harineyi newe vanofunga ndopenga chionai manje zvoroita after marovera mughedhi , ndiyani anemari yakadai ivo vachiLooter voenda mhiri kunorapwa imi makasunga zvimaZambia muchitamba kongonya.

mashotopiyana - 28 May 2014

look to those Ministers we voted for. Instead of focusing on patient's opportunity to be treated they are taking illness of them as an advantage.

freddy - 29 May 2014

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