The Private Hospitals Association of Zimbabwe has rebranded to Private Healthcare Association of Zimbabwe (PHAZ) in an effort to widen its membership base to include all healthcare service providers in the country.
Formed in 1996, the association caters for health providers in the private sector.
With the demise of the country’s health system due to ageing equipment and infrastructure, maladministration, lack of funding and brain drain among other challenges, the private sector has been the mainstay of the health system in the country.
However, charges by the private health sector have over the years been beyond the reach of many ordinary citizens resulting in those near borders seeking treatment and other services in neighbouring countries.
Some citizens have succumbed after failing to access healthcare because of lack of funds.
PHAZ believes by rebranding and coming together, members can buy equipment and services in groups which can reduce costs.
“We are excited to advise on the rebranding of the association. Previously we used to call ourselves the Private Hospitals Association of Zimbabwe which literally was looking at private hospitals, clinics and private surgeries,” said PHAZ chairman Dr Timothy Goche.
He was speaking while giving opening remarks at the PHAZ conference in Victoria Falls.
He said the rebranded association will encompass all health service providers in the private sector.
“So we have rebranded to the Private Healthcare Association of Zimbabwe and with this new scope we would want to include all private health sector players.
“We are saying any player and institution that is targeted to improve provision of private quality health services in the nation, even medical aids societies, health service providers, suppliers, manufacturers of even medical oxygen should join,” he said.
Accessing health services has been a nightmare in Zimbabwe as some medical aid societies and service providers either were accused of fraud or demanding top ups from clients.
A majority of Zimbabweans are in the informal sector and have no medical insurance while some who are still formally employed scaled down their medical packages as they could not afford monthly subscriptions.