Free suitable land must be identified for Zimbabweans wishing to set up medical parks, including those in the diaspora, President Mnangagwa has directed, as the country’s medical training facilities now rank as the second-best in SADC.
The Second Republic is scaling up the health care system and the Government is working on competitively rewarding medical professionals to gain greater staff retention in hospitals countrywide, he said.
The Government is leaving no one and no place behind in its development. Rural health facilities are being built across Zimbabwe, and along with other financial sources communities are dedicating large slices of the devolution funds to ensure every community has access to basic health care.
President Mnangagwa in his weekly column in The Sunday Mail, yesterday said there is growing demand for land on which to set up medical facilities in the country.
“This demand has been coming especially from our citizens in the diaspora wishing to invest back home. They want land on which to set up all sorts of facilities, including those for research and further specialised training,” he said.
“It is their own way of giving back to our society. Accordingly, I am directing Government to identify suitable land across the country on which to develop medical parks. Land should be free to those wishing to set up shop or training facilities.”
President Mnangagwa said the land should attract much-needed investments in the medical sector.
“We must strive to become a regional centre of excellence when it comes to specialised training and care.
“Time must come when Zimbabwe becomes the preferred destination for medical tourism. This calls for even bigger, focused quality investments in manpower, machinery, medicines and facilities,” he said.
President Mnangagwa, who recently officially opened the Great Zimbabwe University Medical School, bringing to four the medical schools in the country, said Zimbabwe continues to strike gold in medical training facilities.
“In our Southern African region, we now rank second to South Africa, which has 10 such schools of medicine.
“Our goal is to have as many training facilities for medical staff as would ensure that our doctor-to-patient ratio continues to improve all the time. We are still far from that important goal,” he said.
The four tertiary institutions offering medical training are University of Zimbabwe, National University of Science and Technology, Midlands State University, and Great Zimbabwe University.
President Mnangagwa said the Second Republic continues to invest in the health sector following the recent opening of a main warehouse for stocking drugs for the nation.
“This facility, built through a Chinese grant, is for National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPharm). It is a facility which now allows us to stock medicines and other sensitive accessories we need in all our health facilities countrywide.
“The coming budget, coupled with support from our international partners, should see us fully stocking the facility, thereby improving availability of medicines and accessories in the country. This is a giant step forward for our nation,” he said.
The President said the need to equip and modernise hospitals and clinics remains a top priority under his administration as Zimbabwe scales up healthcare giving in the direction of greater specialisation.
“At the end of the day, a doctor is as good as the equipment and machinery available to them in the discharge of their work, which invariably is delicate and life-saving.
“The Second Republic is fully aware of this area of great concern and need, and will be making substantial provisions towards meeting this pressing need, starting with this coming budget,” he said.
President Mnangagwa criticised the illegal sanctions imposed on the country by Western nations saying the medical fraternity will continue to defy odds and shine.
He also commended four young Zimbabwean doctors who left for Kenya to do voluntary cleft lip and cleft palate surgery in that country.
“Our nation has to applaud and celebrate our four doctors for living true to the Hippocratic Oath, and for raising Zimbabwe’s flag high through deeds which are clearly Pan-African. Thank you Zimbabwe Medical Team!” he said.
The Zimbabwean team comprises a senior surgeon, Dr Manana, two anaesthetic specialists, Dr Marange and Dr Kasule, and the team leader, Dr Danda.
The team went under the umbrella of a humanitarian organisation called Love Without Reason, and will work on Kenyan children for just under a week.