'Doctors obsessed with cash than patients'

HARARE - Health practitioners are now more concerned with making money rather than looking after patients, Dr Timothy Stamps, Health advisor to the President and Cabinet said yesterday.

Speaking ahead of a Health Expo entitled ‘‘Healthy Aging: Non communicable Diseases Awareness Campaign’’ that starts tomorrow and ends Thursday at Africa Unity Square in Harare, Stamps said medical practitioners are obsessed with cash flow and not patient flow.

He explained that people were paying too much homage to the US dollar that is currently in circulation and forgetting the people.

“The problem is King George Washington whose picture is on the US dollar note. If we worship King George too much that every time we pay homage to him, then we face challenges,” he said.

Stamps said the nation is only listening to the rich and forgetting to get ideas from the poor.

“It is a broader than narrow health attitude in Zimbabwean people that the rich should be listened to and get their advice,” he said. “Sometimes their advice is not beneficial, sometimes it is dangerous. It is an obsession with many people; we have undervalued the contribution of women of all ages but especially young women with ideas.”

The expo will see people getting screening for non-communicable diseases known as NCDs.

Manager of the Clinic of Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Zimbabwe, Amin Hamidzadeh said his clinic is providing medical assistance to Zimbabweans for a minimum fee.

“This clinic would be involved in the expo whose main aim is to screen patients. A year ago we screened 20 000 people but now we are looking at screening 50 000 people. We want Zimbabweans to come to be screened from hypertension to other diseases.”

The NCD or non-infectious disease is a medical condition which is non-infectious. NCDs are diseases of long duration with generally slow progression.

Stamps said the diseases are largely lifestyle dependent.

He gave an example of his mother who was diagnosed with TB at 11 years and managed to survive until the age of 90 with minimum challenges. He said she used alternative medicines than those used in hospitals.

“There are risk factors associated with these diseases,” Stamps said.

“The common risk factors are smoking and consumption of tobacco products, lack of physical, unhealthy diets such as fatty and salty foods and harmful use of alcohol.”

He said it is important for people to undergo regular check-ups of the diseases as they generally progress slowly and are easily controlled medically when diagnosed early.
“Regular check-ups increase the chance of these diseases being diagnosed earlier, thereby giving the sufferer better chances of beating the disease. We are therefore calling upon Zimbabweans to come and get screened,” he said. - Margaret Chinowaita, Community Affairs Editor

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