This paper analyses the private healthcare sector’s role in Zimbabwe’s health delivery system, especially after economic challenges reduced in real terms fiscal support for public health system funding. This paints a sharp contrast between practicalities of achieving affordable and accessible public healthcare on one hand, and the economic and social realities of underfunded and skills-constrained health systems. Using as empirical models and analytical lenses the country’s 2009–2013 National Health Strategy and the WHO’s health system building blocks, we examine the role played by private sector health delivery actors in the last 10 years and suggest that although the private sector added value, there is a bigger challenge of weak macro-level coordination and communication within the health sector which create problems for systemic design, strategy formulation and feedback mechanisms, important for institutional innovation and timely responses to changing dynamics. Macro-level coordination can be aided by documentation and standardisation of procedures, processes and approaches by different health delivery actors to align with national health delivery goals, allowing more predictable and measurable impact from interventions by different actors.
Julius T Mugwagwa