A RESEARCH expert, has called for the government to invest in the public health care sector as it is an essential component in improving universal health coverage.
Addressing the Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) pre-budget meeting held in Harare yesterday, Dr Prosper Chitambara said many Zimbabweans lack access to basic primary health care and there is need to close gaps in coverage and health outcomes by eliminating huge income and urban and rural differentials in key health indicators.
“Many Zimbabweans still lack access to services like reproductive, maternal, antenatal care, facility-based childbirth, contraception and child nutrition.
“There is a need for the government to increase investment in the primary health sector since it is an essential component in improving universal health access and overall health outcomes.
“Primary health care is the frontline of Zimbabwe’s health system and is usually the first point of contact people have with their health care.
“Ideally it should provide affordable community based care throughout life.
“A strong, well-funded and accessible primary health system keeps people healthier and out of hospital by supporting them to manage their health issues including chronic conditions in the community.
“This reduces reliance on costly acute care, such as specialists, emergency departments or other hospital services. It is therefore vital to specifically budget for primary health care,” said Chitambara.