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Govt’s Late Payments Affect National Blood Services Of Zimbabwe’s Operations – Report

The National Blood Services of Zimbabwe (NBSZ) has said the government’s late payments for blood to government hospitals is affecting the organisation’s operations.

NBSZ sources have warned that there would be a shortage of blood for accident victims during the forthcoming Heroes holiday if the situation is not addressed urgently.

Holidays usually record high cases of accidents. In a report seen by NewZimbabwe.com, NBSZ said:

Despite successfully implementing its side of the free blood initiative, the operational viability of the service is now being threatened by funding constraints due to failure by MoHCC to honour payments on time. 

The government debt for free blood initiative has ballooned to ZWL$567 153 323.86 as at 30 June 2022.

The delays in payment have affected working capital and the ability of the Service to fulfil payments to suppliers of critical raw materials and consumables and to settle statutory obligations.

Supplies of critical raw materials such as blood bags, blood grouping reagents, and chemicals required for screening blood remain critically below minimum order.

NBSZ is facing recapitalisation challenges, with some of the equipment constantly breaking down due to excessive wear and tear.

NBSZ has reportedly suffered huge losses of over US$2,7 million on settlement of invoices by MoHCC due to soaring exchange rates.

It owes a total of US$1.37 million to foreign suppliers and can no longer access critical consumables for the smooth operation of the organisation as credit facilities have been suspended due to non-payment.

NBSZ also owes ZWL$155.6 million to local creditors.

NBSZ is bidding for foreign currency at the central banks auction system  like any other company.

The organisation’s management and the board have proposed rebasing outstanding invoices in forex to compensate for value loss as the local currency is rapidly shedding value.

Further, it was also recommended to immediately suspend all credit facilities in the local currency offered to private health institutions.

Also proposed was a forex-denominated levy on all products and services supplied to private hospitals.

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