Keen to learn more about regulatory reform in Zimbabwe? Read on! Prepared in association with Honey & Blanckenberg, a leading law firm in Zimbabwe, this is an extract from The Pharma Legal Handbook: Zimbabwe, available to purchase here for USD 99.
1. Are there proposals for reform or significant change to the healthcare system?
Currently, there is no proposal for reform in the form of proposed or draft legislation.
The last major proposal for reform was the Public Health Bill, 2017 (Gazetted on 1 December 2017) its purpose is “to replace, update and align to the Constitution the law relating to Public Health. The present Public Health Act was passed in 1924 and needs updating to meet the current health challenges and needs of the population.”
The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare in its “Zimbabwe’s E-Health Strategy 2012-2017” proposed the enactment of legislation to “support the implementation and sustenance of the E-Health framework” and that the development of such legislative instruments was necessary support the implementation of E-Health as well as policies that would ensure compliance to agreed protocols and standards. E-Health is to be used in respect of maintenance of electronic medical record systems, the use of telehealth services where specialist services are provided to remote communities, mobile health, population level databases and electronic surveillance systems for decision makers with the power to decide on appropriate intervention to make a determination regarding what a targeted population needs.
The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare in its “Zimbabwe National Strategic Plan for Mental Health Services 2014 to 2018” proposed reform in respect of the legislation pertaining to mental health services including the review of the Mental Health Act [Chapter 15:12] to align the care of psychiatric patients with the current trends in the world with focus on treatment and rehabilitation.
The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare in its “National Health Strategy for Zimbabwe 2016 to 2020” recognised the need for further reform in the healthcare system in line with Section 76 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, 2013, which provides for the right of citizens and permanent residents to access to basic healthcare services. The strategy identifies various areas requiring regulation including effective regulation to ensure that those covered by such schemes get fair health benefits, and that multiple pools are properly managed. The Strategy further identifies the need for regulation of technology in respect of the production and distribution of medicines, commodities and healthcare equipment.
The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare in its “Nutrition Communication Strategy, 2016”- the Ministry proposes the adoption of a food fortification regulatory framework in respect of the improvement of adolescent and maternal nutrition.
2. When are they likely to come into force?
Public Health Act [Chapter 15:17] came into force on 31 August 2018 repealing the Public Health Act [Chapter 15:09].
Zimbabwe’s E-Health Strategy 2012-2017 – no draft legislation or draft proposals to implement E-Health.
Zimbabwe National Strategic Plan for Mental Health Services 2014 to 2018 – no draft legislation or draft proposals.
National Health Strategy for Zimbabwe 2016 to 2020 – no draft legislation or draft proposals.
The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare in its “Nutrition Communication Strategy, 2016” – no draft legislation or draft proposals.