You have guessed it, in the previous post, I had promised a look at the UPND policies on housing. Unfortunately after glancing at their housing commentary, I concluded it was inadequate to warrant discussion. So we skip that and move straight to health care:
Noble goals indeed. Unfortunately it is the perial twin problems all over again - lack of coherent vision and little detail on how these goals can be achieved. Its unclear to me whether UPND sees a government controlled health care delivering health for all or a private health care subsidised heavily government. Notice that there's no mention of the private sector as agents of change, so one assumes that the UPND model is government delivering everything. The only problem is that government has no money. Where will the money to fund the noble goals going to come from? The UPND policies appear so dissapointing, that I have decided to discontinue this column on their policies.
Zambia’s Health Care system is pathetic. There are so many charges that the government asks from sick people when the same government is heavily taxing citizens all the time. All Zambians pay tax on almost every thing they purchase- Value Added Tax (VAT) and Pay-As-You Earn (PAYE). Fuel levy and duty costs are even causing the pump prices of fuels to be out of this world. Government never gets tired of collecting money from its citizens who they are failing to take care of when they fall ill. This government is heavily taxing everyone including the sick and the dead.
One patient suffering from kidney failure is now required to go on the dialysis machine three times a week to get his system cleaned, and University Teaching Hospital is asking for K400,000 per day, thereby asking him to pay K1,200,000 every week. In a month he is asked pay K4,000,000. This makes health care unaffordable to the majority citizens.who they are failing to take care of when they fall ill. This government is heavily taxing everyone including the sick and the dead.
UPND will provide:
- free quality medical care for the poor alongside private medical facilities for those who can afford to pay. Emphasis will be placed on providing health care for maternity, children, differently abled and the aged;
- improved and modern medical facilities (rehabilitation and building of more clinics and hospitals supported by good technical, research and development capabilities) close to the people. This would include having suitable clinics in busy places such as markets, main bus stops, large schools, compounds, urban and rural areas. In particular, there is need to ensure that high quality medical facilities are available to all citizens within Zambia in order to minimise the need to evacuate patients who are critically ill as is the case now where only the favoured few benefit;
- readily available and safe medicines in clinics and hospitals and not the current habit of only giving prescriptions to those seeking medical care;
- a vigorous fight against Malaria and HIV/AIDS, in particular, improved management and increased funding for prevention, treatment and care;
- improved but affordable medical schemes and insurance;
- better pay, housing, training, retraining and other conditions of service for doctors, nurses, medical assistants and other health workers.