Book Chapter
Cost Recovery and Equity in the Health Sector

The Case of Zimbabwe

The chapter describes the dilemmas on cost recovery by concentrating on Zimbabwe. Cost-recovery policies were adopted during a structural adjustment programme in 1991, which was mainly a counteractive reaction to the country's fiscal crisis. At that time, Zimbabwe was faced with stagnant state income, lack of funds in the health industry, general shortages, poor public investment, and nationwide economic depression. All of these led to a decreased accessibility of medical assistance for the poor, which eventually affected individual development and social welfare. Although financial decisions related to public provision must be patterned according to cultural background, history, and conditions of a country, the Zimbabwe case reflects that cost recovery planning and implementation should be the least priority.