Lift nurse freeze: Parirenyatwa

HARARE - Hospital performance is being jeopardised because of widespread nurse shortages after government froze vacant posts, a Cabinet minister has said.

During a tour of Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals (PGH) on Tuesday, David Parirenyatwa, Health and Child Care minister, said state-of-the-art equipment installed at the government hospital should be complimented by adequate medical staff.

“What has been exhibited is state-of-the-art, for instance, the stroke referral unit, its radiotherapy division has made it a true reference centre for cancer,” Parirenyatwa said.

“We saw the neurology department, which we have heard is now serving people from the region. Even the number of people here can tell you it is a referral centre.

“The issue of staff shortages, particularly nurses is a big challenge. You see where they are supposed to have one nurse per patient, they have 10. That  is why we are saying the nurse freeze should be lifted.

“You saw at casualty, they were saying there is only one nurse. Human resources shortage is very high, including doctors, and it is a big challenge to our health sector,” he said responding to pleas made by PGH’s various department heads and media.

Due to a funding shortfall, Zimbabwe’s government has frozen about 400 nurses’ and doctors’ posts nationwide.

As a result, many qualified nurses have remained jobless.

Though extolling existing infrastructure, the minister said continuous investment would help maintain the hospital’s referral status.

“Every department should be able to put a catalogue of equipment so that the essence of it being a qua-ternary referral centre is maintained,” Parirenyatwa said.

As public confidence in government hospitals has taken a knock, well-heeled Zimbabweans have been flying abroad to seek medical care.

Asked if as the Health minister he would trust his treatment at PGH, Parirenyatwa said he has been receiving medical attention at the State institution for years.

“In fact this is my routine,” he said. “I always come here and even my mother. We come not because it is named Parirenyatwa, but that is one of the reasons of course. It does not make sense for me to go anywhere else so (PGH chief executive Thomas) Zigora knows I come here whenever I am not well. This is our place.”

Parirenyatwa told the media that his ministry was pushing for the recruitment of about 2 400 nurses.

Zimbabwe’s low nurse-patient-ratio shows understaffing remains a real issue across the health sector, and many State hospitals are down to the bone in terms of the number of frontline nursing staff they have due to cutting of posts to save money.

Comments (7)

β€œIn fact this is my routine,” he said. β€œI always come here and even my mother. We come not because it is named Parirenyatwa, but that is one of the reasons of course. It does not make sense for me to go anywhere else so (PGH chief executive Thomas) Zigora knows I come here whenever I am not well. This is our place.” Then why does Uncle Bob fly all the way to Singapore for a simple eye operation, when icons like Madiba are hospitalized in the SA national hospitals if all is well in the public hospitals Dr Pari, nhema dzega dzega.

Nhema dzega dzega - 20 February 2014

Matibili flies to far east countries for medical attention. Why does he leave his own hospitals? Does he know something we dont? Why should we trust hospitals here when our leaders shuns them like they got leprosy?

Tongogara - 20 February 2014

manyepo ayo

gudoguru - 21 February 2014

Nhema dzega dzega, I think you are stuck in hate mode. Uncle Bob's reasons for going to Singapore are his own and his doctor's, maybe he started treatments there during sanctions and when Min of Health was under MDC leadership. Anyway it shouldn't shroud the fact that the good Doctor Parirenyatwa is making sense, and may I remind those of you stuck in hate mode kuti The Ministry of Health of Zimbabwe, before the GNU rolled out ARV therapy programmes before your Boer State of South Africa, saving Hundreds of thousands of lives that would have been lost to HIV.

S. Takarwireyi - 21 February 2014

I was a patient at Andrew Fleming Hospital just after independence when it was a world class hospital. Glad about the name change as it no longer is!

saundy - 21 February 2014

Hey S.Takarwireyi are you not 20 years behind the times. The ANC government who support you lot have been in power since 1994!!!!

saundy - 21 February 2014

David, you are busy talking of nurse recruitment but you haven't made efforts to address serious issues of PSMAS. Other intelligent ministries are realigning boards falling under their ministries and you seem not even bothered by all the rot at the parastatals under your ministry, not naming them individually. Wake-up. You got to show the President his trust in you by peforming as you are recyled year in and year out.

Patriot - 21 February 2014

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.