Chiyangwa builds medical mall

HARARE - In life there are things that we wish to do but at times, understandably, due to other interests, we tend to ignore them.

The story is true for flamboyant Harare businessman Phillip Chiyangwa who has embarked on a massive construction of a state-of-the-art medical mall in the capital.

PC Medical Mall is already taking shape in Alex Park where the property developer used to have offices of his holding firm.

Outside of his vast and still growing business empire the medical mall is an idea whose time has come in terms of centralising the access to specialised medical attention in a boutique style guaranteed and garnered to meet up to the dynamic tastes of the local and regional market place in line with global trends.

The benefit is offering world- class health attention in a discreet and intimate atmosphere from the maddening attention of existing and traditional health cluster outfits.

“At times it needs an assault on one of the things that are so dear to an individual that they are compelled to engage in things that bring change, complement existing projects and extend the service reach of the traditional service delivery matrix,” Chiyangwa told the Daily News.

He could have been referring to a recent surgery to one of his children who had to be treated outside the country.

The inadequacy of existing local medical infrastructure was driven home through a family health emergency involving one of the Chiyangwa children.

External medical opinion and attention at an inordinate cost had to be sought to bring relief to the family emergency.

“The multi-million dollar medical mall is a judicious and timely investment in a country awakening from the throes of a deep economic slump. Local consumers demand and expect more with the rising tide of their disposable incomes. My vision is a timely innovation to meet and exceed the demand for world-class health facilities,” said Chiyangwa.

The medical mall will house a 260 bed hospital with a state- of-the-art maternity hospital consisting of two theatres on the first floor for the labour ward, a gynaecology unit, neonatal ICU wing, deluxe rooms and suites for the discerning and dynamic tastes of the well-heeled clientele.

Specialists and consultants would have their own suites that include sectional consulting rooms for visiting specialists.

“Money is not a problem and it is not an issue at all. What we are bringing complements government and colleagues who have invested in the health services sector. We have targeted 30 specialists who are currently domiciled in the diaspora to manage and provide their expertise. There is no doubt that their skills which make them adept at new technologies which they have been exposed to in the first world, will provide the hospital with the critical technical know-how currently sorely missed at some of our relatively better hospitals”.

Among the new technology targeted is robotics surgery which is a technique in which a surgeon performs surgery using a computer that remotely controls very small instruments attached to a robot.

The surgeon sits at a computer station nearby and directs the movements of a robot.

Small instruments are attached to the robot’s arms.

The surgeon first inserts these instruments into your body through small surgical cuts.

Under the surgeon’s direction, the robot matches the doctor’s hand movements to perform the procedure using the tiny instruments.

A thin tube with a camera attached to the end of it (endoscope) allows the surgeon to view highly magnified three-dimensional images of the patient’s body on a monitor in real time. (additional explanation Maryland University Medical Centre).

“It’s really sad to continue witnessing the massive leakages of local resources in sending people outside the country to access specialist care. Call it incisive indigenisation if you will but it’s high time we corral and harness local talent to enhance the attraction and retention of homegrown talent.

“The medical mall project is a celebration of the best things in life and a standing, sterling, and searing penultimate expression of what’s important in life-great health. The Zimbabwean medical landscape will never be the same again after this vision has sprung to life,” Chiyangwa declared.

Zimbabwe’s health delivery is emerging from years of neglect and breakdown of infrastructure.

Poor service and working conditions led to a flight of skilled personnel at the height of the economic and political crises.

The 53-year-old’s latest project joins his burgeoning enterprise which includes property development, schools, a hotel, the Pentagon currently taking shape and a car rental.

He is also a renowned industrialist.

At a personal level, Chiyangwa has no apologies for driving swanky expensive cars; neither does he slow his taste for designer clothes and shoes.

He has hosted the late Michael Jackson, to being the guy with the largest house in Zimbabwe (it’s a hotel basically as it has 18 bedrooms en suite, all Jacuzzi, 25 lounges and a helipad).

In 1999 his property portfolio was valued at $340 million by CBRE and it’s anyone’s guess in 2012 to try and measure a new value.

But the former Zanu PF Mashonaland West chairperson has lived a flashy life stalked by allegations of graft and profligacy — both accusations Chiyangwa dismiss with the back of his hand.

Harare councillors allege he grabbed swathes of prime land in a doggy deal involving money lent to the municipality at the height of hyperinflation.

Nothing has been proven.

Business rivals say he has acquired wealth due to his relations with President Robert Mugabe and affiliation to Zanu PF.

Socialites have lambasted him for flaunting wealth in an environment of extreme poverty — questioning its origins — yet in his customary panache; Chiyangwa says he has every reason to celebrate because his beginnings do not tell an exciting story. He grew up fighting for scraps while his mother was vending vegetables.

“God is not the author of poverty but the devil; why should I not celebrate the journey I have travelled so far? There is more to come as long as God supplies my needs,” said Chiyangwa.

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