The revised Public Health Bill was presented in parliament yesterday paving way for the commencement of public consultations.

The new Public Health Act when adopted, will replace the 1920 law which is silent on most new health challenges such as cancers and HIV and AIDS among other ailments.

Every sector is administered by an act of parliament, and delays in amending the Public Health Act was affecting provision of health care in the country.

Zimbabwe is still using an act that was passed into law in 1924 and which is now very outdated as there have been changes in disease patterns, epidemiology, and other health models.

Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa presented the revised bill to the national assembly and is expecting that in six weeks time public consultations will be over, and the bill will be back for the second reading.

The current Public Health Act does not mention the existence of non-communicable diseases like cancer which was not a serious public health threat during the 1920s.

The new law is also set to address issues to do with compulsory immunisation as the country intensifies efforts to fight killer diseases which have resulted in unnecessary loss of life among infants.

The Zimbabwe Medical Association (ZIMA) is lobbying for the bill to clear issues of medical aid and private practice, which have seen service providers and health care-funders being at loggerheads.