Doctors Blow US$400M Yearly By Referring Patients Overseas - Finance Minister
Finance Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube has said that the government was working towards addressing irregularities in the Health Sector that resulted in the country losing US$400 million every year.
Ncube said that the loss was incurred as doctors acted as agents by referring patients to overseas countries for treatment instead of treating them locally. He claimed that doctors would get a fee for referring patients to countries like India. He said:
But do you know what has been happening, the cost of this US dollar drug is greening like mbanje so the doctors (local) were spending a lot of time acting as agents for hospital facilities in places like India and they earned a fee for that.
So, rather than treating here, they say go to India and, of course, you will get good treatment but they (local doctors) earned a fee for that. The whole referral industry was earning US dollars through referring patients to places like India and others. So using the US dollar also distorted the incentive system within the health sector and that’s what happened.
Ncube proposed the initiation of medical tourism that is aimed at attracting Zimbabwean citizens practising medicines in other countries to come and practice it in the country.
More: The Herald