The Deputy Director of Imports at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Charity Kadungure has said that foreign currency is not for shopping sprees outside the country. Kadungure was presenting during the Medical Tourism Symposium in Harare today.
During the question and answer session, the Imports Deputy Director argued that foreign currency belongs to exporters and the rest have limited freedom in importing because money does not belong to them.
“…the Reserve Bank has put in place an Afreximbank USD$600 million Nostro Stabilisation Facility which is aimed at facilitating international payments that include raw materials, electricity, fuel, pharmaceuticals and other critical national imports,” said Kadungure.
Zimbabwe is currently facing financial shortages with companies having to apply to get foreign currency for accessing raw materials to operate.
Although human resources are in abundance, lack of modern medical equipment and financial resources are limiting the potential of medical tourism into the country according to Kadungure who was presenting on Prevailing Economic Conditions and Medical Tourism during the symposium.
The RBZ official as a result of lack of advanced medical equipment and skills in some instances, many Zimbabweans, and expatriates living in Zimbabwe with funds or good medical cover are opting to receive their medical treatment in South Africa and some are referred to receive specialized treatment, as far as India.
“Since 2013 to date, according to payments which were made through local banks, the country has remitted more than USD15 million to meet medical expenses of Zimbabweans who received treatment in other countries,” she said.
“Most of the statistics for medical tourism by foreigners who come to Zimbabwe for treatment are currently unrecorded since health service providers such as hospitals and surgeries are not currently registered as tourism service providers”
The Medical Tourism Symposium, which was also attended by Zimbabwe Medical Association National Secretary, Dr Shingi Bopoto was done under the theme Medical Tourism Threat or Opportunity to the Local Economy.
An award-winning global thought leader and global speaker Dr Prem Jaagyasi gave a keynote address from India.