The Citizen Observatory for Health (OCS), through information made public by the director of health services in Gurué district, central province of Zambézia, learnt that Gurué Rural Hospital lacks food for patients who are hospitalized there.

In a meeting held with the governor of Zambezia province, Pio Matos, the director also revealed that the hospital does not have, at least, a lunch to offer to the patients that are hospitalized there.

The director also explained that the hospital has not received financial resources since December last year. Therefore, there are difficulties to acquire food for the patients, as well as to buy medical-surgical material and other inputs necessary for the recovery of the patients’ health.

According to the director, it is impossible to manage the hospital without financial funds. The situation, stresses the source, is deplorable, not least because health professionals end up contributing with their own money to buy supplies for patients.

The OCS, throughout its research, had already argued that deficiencies in the disbursement of funds is a major barrier to the normal functioning of hospitals across the country.    

The Gurué’s problem is just one example among several others faced in the National Health System (NHS) as a whole. Very recently, the OCS denounced the lack of power in the health centers of the districts of Jangamo and Cumbana, in Inhambane province. The same problem, according to the authorities of that area, is related to budget problems, that is, the lack of funds for the operation of hospital units.

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The lack of financial resources for the functioning of the hospitals in question is an aberration, given that the Economic and Social Plan and State Budget (PESOE 2023) is in force, an instrument that deals with the distribution of financial resources for the functioning of State institutions.

Indeed, a detailed analysis of the budget execution reports ( shows that by the end of the first quarter of this year, 3.1 billion meticais had been allocated and executed in the District Services for Health, Women and Social Action (SDSMAS), equivalent to a budget execution rate of 28.8%, 2.8% more than in 2022.

In this regard, there is an urgent need for the SDSMAS to provide the reasons behind the limitations in the provision of funds to the Gurué Rural Hospital.

According to the MEF report, based on PESOE 2023, the execution of the Health Sector budget, in the last 2 years, was below 90%. Data from map 3, annexed to the budget execution report, show that after the budget for operational expenditures suffered a downward revision, it went from 35.9 to 31.6 billion meticais.

By the end of the first quarter of 2023, the execution was 23%. However, several hospital units complain about the lack of funds to ensure their normal operation and provision of services to users, the most critical case being the Gurué Rural Hospital.

Under the public finance management reforms, the SDSMAS represent the Health Sector in the districts and have the responsibility to ensure the proper functioning of health units and to plan the management of Human Resources (HR), materials and medicines.

The OCS believes that this situation not only reveals the weakness of the Government in allocating resources, but also violates the Constitution of the Republic, which, in its article 89, advocates that “All citizens have the right to medical and health care, under the terms of the law, as well as the duty to promote and defend public health.”

Obviously, this includes the right to food for inpatients. In other words, the Government must urgently fulfil its role of providing better health services to citizens, in order to guarantee that they fully enjoy their constitutionally instituted rights.

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