Zimbabwe Medical Insurance
The healthcare system of Zimbabwe was once a model for Southern Africa. However, in 2008 there was a serious cholera epidemic in the country, spread by water contaminated with human faeces, which has killed more than 4,000 people across Zimbabwe. The cholera outbreak plus an economic meltdown has pushed the country’s healthcare system to near collapse. Although the healthcare system in the Zimbabwe has faced difficulties in recent years, the Government had made effort in improving the healthcare system.
The Ministry of Health is responsible for the healthcare services in Zimbabwe and it provides 50% of the total healthcare expenditure in the public healthcare sector. Local authorities, mission churches, industrial organisations and private services fund the remaining 50% of healthcare spending. The public healthcare sector in Zimbabwe is the primary healthcare services provider for the country.
The public healthcare delivery services in Zimbabwe are decentralised and healthcare is provided at four levels namely primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary. Healthcare programs in the country focuses mainly on Primary Healthcare services (PHC) which includes the provision of basic and essential preventive and curative care, maternal and child health services, health education, nutrition education, communicable diseases control and immunization, water and sanitation, and the nation’s essential drugs program. Every healthcare facility in Zimbabwe offers a full range of curative and preventive services.
In general, the infrastructure of the public healthcare sector in Zimbabwe is weak and unreliable. Medical facilities are limited and there is a lack of trained medical staff and shortage of necessary medicines. According to the World Health Organization’s rankings of the world's health systems, Zimbabwe ranked 155 out of 190 countries. There have been instances where foreigners and expatriates who were suffering from critical illnesses or injuries being rejected from hospitals due to shortages of hospital beds and medical supplies. In the case of critical illnesses or accidents, evacuation to South Africa for medical treatments maybe required. It is often that doctors, hospitals and air ambulance medical evacuation services require immediate cash payment before receiving health services. As such, it is recommended that all expatriates and travelers within Zimbabwe purchase some form of comprehensive international medical insurance policy which provides an emergency evacuation benefit.
Hospitals in the rural areas are only equipped with basic equipment and supplies, and they are unable to provide medical services for serious accidents or illnesses. Moreover, in case of an emergency, patients may have to make their own transportation to nearby medical facilities. About two-thirds of the population in Zimbabwe lives in rural areas, the Government has made an effort to increase access to healthcare services in the rural areas; they have converted some farmhouses into rural healthcare centres.
Private healthcare is also available in Zimbabwe, however, treatments in private clinics are normally expensive and Zimbabwean medical facilities often demand payment up-front before providing treatments to patients, and this often involves a large sum of money. Moreover, the standards of nursing care in private hospitals are inconsistent. It is highly recommended that foreigners to take out a comprehensive travel insurance or international medical insurance plan which will cover you for medical transportation or evacuation when travelling to Zimbabwe. If you are on medication, it is advisable to bring adequate supply of medication to cover the duration of your stay in Zimbabwe, as you may not be able to obtain the appropriate drug prescribed by your doctor at the pharmacies in Zimbabwe.
Pacific Prime is a one-stop health insurance brokerage service provider for you when travelling to Zimbabwe. We offer a wide range of policies to meet your individual needs, including benefits such as dental, maternity, inpatient, outpatient, specialist consultations, and many others. We offer a large variety of healthcare plans as well as travellers insurance plans. Contact our professional advisors today to enjoy full insurance protection such as a Health Insurance Plan for yourself and your family.