Two models for change in the health services in Zimbabwe.Int J Health Serv 1985; 15(3):451-68IJ
The health situation in pre-Independence Zimbabwe was much as elsewhere in the Third World. While the majority suffered excess mortality and morbidity, the affluent enjoyed a health status similar to that of the populations of developed countries. The health services also showed the familiar pattern, with expenditure concentrated on sophisticated facilities in the towns, leaving the rural majority with practically no services at all. With the coming of Majority Rule, the previous pattern of controlling access to facilities on the basis of race could not continue. Two broad routes forward were defined. On the one hand, the private doctors, the private insurance companies, and the settler state proposed a model based on improving urban facilities, depending on a trickle-down to eventually answer the needs of the rural people. On the other hand, the post-Independence Ministry of Health advocated a policy of concentrating on developing services in the rural areas. The pattern of the future health service will depend on the capacity of the senior health planners and on the enthusiasm of front-line health workers but, of overriding importance will be the political commitment to answer the needs of the majority and the outcome of the inevitable struggle for access to scarce health sector resources.