Medical Advertising Rules Relaxed

Last year the government relaxed the advertising policy for the medical sector in an effort to increase public awareness on health services available locally. At the HPA’s Annual Congress in November 2016, the president of the Health Professions Authority (HPA) Dr. Adolf Macheka, a specialist surgeon, said that Zimbabwe is currently lagging behind other countries in terms of effectively and efficiently providing citizens the necessary information on healthcare services available locally.

“The current legislation does not allow advertising and severely restricts even provision of simple health-related information to the public hence the need for a review of the legislation in order to embrace technological advances, emerging concerns and changing international best practices,” said Dr Macheka.

He said the advertising policy had since been relaxed and was now in place. He said this would see amendment of Section 135 of the Health Professions Act, which prohibits advertising of professionals.

“That is the process we are currently doing of amending this section and after this, both the advertising policy and the proposed amendments to the Act will be submitted to the minister for his approval,” said Dr Macheka.

Health and Child Care Secretary Dr Gerald Gwinji, who officially opened the congress, welcomed HPA’s initiatives on relaxing medical regulations to ease doing of business in Zimbabwe.

“This is what is happening in other countries and as Zimbabwe, we were lagging behind. There are various specialist services available in Zimbabwe but because that information was not readily available to the people, patients were going to other countries to seek such specialist services,” said Dr Gwinji.

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