The government has committed close to $270 million towards the construction of a VVIP hospital at Manyame Airbase in Harare.
Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube indicated that the structure is almost complete.
Introducing the Pindula News Mobil App
Download from Google Play Store
The facility is meant to benefit the country’s VVIPs and service chiefs, who have often been accused of blowing large sums of foreign currency seeking medical treatment abroad while avoiding dilapidated medical facilities back home.
Ncube said in his recent mid-term budget review statement:
Construction of Manyame VVIP hospital is progressing well with an amount of $269,5 million having been availed to the project during 2021.
This has seen the first-floor deck being completed while plumbing and electrical works on the second and ground floor are underway with the project now expected to be completed by October 2021.
Community Working Group on Health executive director Itai Rusike Friday said the money used to build the political elite’s state-of-the-art Manyame Hospital could have been channelled towards the refurbishment of public hospitals which were in a sorry state. Rusike said:
The proposal to construct a VVIP hospital is highly misplaced and not a priority as that money can be used to refurbish and equip the existing public health institutions in the country such as Parirenyatwa, Harare, Mpilo and UBH Central Hospitals for use by the VVIPs.
The government should appreciate that equity and universality are implicitly in universal health coverage. Having differences in service availability and quality of care for the VVIPs while neglecting health institutions used by the general public should be condemned as it will widen the equity gap and will not move us towards achieving universal health coverage.
Instead of building a VVIP hospital, there is need to address equity in terms of access to health services in the country.
In his budget review statement, Ncube added that over $400 million had been set aside for refurbishment of public hospitals dotted around the country.