Mutare council hikes maternity fees

MUTARE - Mutare City Council (MCC) has hiked maternity fees from $15 to $20, in a move that is likely to trigger a standoff between residents and the local authority.

The council, which effected the new rates last Monday, also hiked consultation fees by 350 percent from $2 to $9.

Acting town clerk, Donaldson Nyatoti, could neither deny nor confirm the development when contacted for comment.

He also had not responded to the questions forwarded to him by time of going to print last night.

However, Paddington Sazunza, a senior provincial Health advocate with Aids and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa who also works closely with the city’s health facilities, confirmed the hike.

He said the move was “going to reverse some of the few achievements reached towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for example MDG four which is targeted at reducing child mortality and five which seeks to improve maternal health”.

Sazunza said the move was also going to sabotage efforts to improve primary health care in Mutare.

“In this scenario not many will access and afford health services,” he said.

He added that while council’s cash constraints are understood, there “should be a way around to relieve the already burdened residents we are going to see an increase in home delivered babies and deaths.”

“The move is also likely to trigger an increase on anti-retroviral treatment defaults as patients won’t be able to raise consultation fees,” Sazunza warned.

Meanwhile, residents associations have resisted the MCC’s supplementary budget, targeted at financing the purchase of I-pads for councillors among other things.

Comments (2)

Under a normal economy, these are modest fairs. But we are living under abnormal conditions that renders them beyond reach to many.

XG - 27 July 2016

What are "modest fairs"?

myth - 27 July 2016

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