Need to Enhance Transparency and Accountability in the Health Sector: A Case of PSMAS

The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) condemns any and all forms of corruption in the health sector, particularly where such corruption violates the right to healthcare. As a health and human rights institution we hold steadfast to the principles enshrined in the constitution of Zimbabwe governing public administration and leadership as enshrined in Chapter 9 of the Constitution, particularly the espousal of transparency and accountability.

Public officers such as Ministers are public servants and their mandate as entrusted to them by members of the republic is to provide public services for the public good. Any public official implicated in corruption and shady dealings must resign in order to restore the public’s trust in the health delivery system. We are therefore dismayed at the culture of impunity that has pervaded public office bearers and lament its evidence within the health sector.

In its current state, the health sector is reeling from longstanding under financing, poor quality service delivery, disproportionately high donor dependence, perennial industrial action and progressive deterioration of infrastructure.

The recent exposure of mismanagement and misappropriation of funds at PSMAS, mainly by senior government officials including the Minister of Health and Child Care, obliges us to ask questions on the applicable criterion for capitation. We contend that if PSMAS has a facility for capitation, it is paramount that the facility be universal and not selective. ZADHR therefore demands that PSMAS provide all health professionals with information and criterion on eligibility for capitation as this will allow for transparency and remove suspicion from the transaction in question.

Such sorry state of affairs in our health sector compels us to make these urgent recommendations;

1- Immediate resignation of the Minister of Health and Child Care
2- Establishment of an independent commission of inquiry to look into the goings on at PSMAS.
3- All remuneration of board and senior executive staff at PSMAS be made available in the public domain
4- Publication of the entity’s accounts