It is undisputed that a healthy population is a productive population. downtime due to illness can impact a family especially if the affected person is the breadwinner. this was and has been documented by studies that include a study that was done about the triple threat of HIV/aids (disease), food security (agriculture), and lack of capacity for service delivery (health care). however, in Zambia, the lack of health care policy for all is a big challenge, coupled with a lack of preventive health care makes the disease burden higher on an underfunded health care system. to address these issues UPND will approach the health care provision in two ways; preventive and curative.
UPND will ensure that the costs of producing food are reduced so that food is affordable. cheap food will ensure that the citizens have adequate nutrition to forestall opportunistic infections that come with poor nutrition. we have adequately covered our policy on agriculture and how we intend to reduce the cost of producing food in another policy insert.
the vectors that carry the disease are ever-present in the community. right now we have covid19 which the current government has lamentably failed to address. malaria, diarrhea including cholera, and many other diseases remain widespread due to the lack of a clear policy on the prevention of diseases. to deal with this, UPND in collaboration with local councils will ensure timely garbage collection, improved drainage, provision of quality water, and addressing sanitation. these measures will prevent diseases from festering.
most of the citizens have a problem accessing health care. this is because they have to pay for services, and even when they do, the services are low quality. to address this issue, UPND will use the Abuja declaration to finance health care. from the time Zambia signed the declaration, the country has never reached the 15% of the national budget to be allocated to healthcare. it has been lip service, UPND will address this in the budget 2022 which UPND will preside over.
UPND will also introduce a single-payer system (Beveridge model) where the government will pay for health care services for all to access. this will address the issue of citizens failing to access care due to lack of money.
the healthcare personnel-to-patient ratio is one of the highest in the world, yet we are producing nurses, clinical officers, and doctors every year, at great public cost. and these are not employed because the government is spending money on paying back “Nkongole”. on assuming government, UPND will employ health care staff, at the same time the conditions of service will be improved to match international standards, this will plug the brain drain that has remained a challenge as our neighboring countries offer better conditions of service.
the how is simple, us$42 million (k904 million) spent on useless fire trucks, us$17 million (k366 million) spent on fake drugs, us$1.2 bn (k25.8 billion) on the Lusaka – Ndola dual carriageway which should cost us$380 million (saving us$820 million), just these amounts are us$879 million (k18.9 billion) or 15.9% (Abuja declaration on health is 15% allocation) of the current national budget is wasteful expenditure which could easily be spent in social services i.e. healthcare, education, water, and sanitation. prudent use of resources is what we lack in the current government, and this above is just but a mere illustration of what change of leadership can do for this country. for more details on our comprehensive health policy, look out for the 2021-2026 UPND manifesto, coming soon.
This is UPND, august 12th you cast your vote; on august 13th we start working for you.
HH aka Bally