Hospitals will soon turn into mortuaries, Cdes!

HARARE - Long-suffering and impoverished Zimbabweans must really be afraid.

This is especially so considering that everything around them seems to be crumbling without any signs of serious care from the authorities.

But in all this tale of how things have fallen apart, there is really need for trepidation among poor communities who are failing to make ends meet due to the rapid decline of quality of life and social services.

The country’s collapsing public health sector should give every well-meaning Zimbabwean Goosebumps because if there is no urgent intervention, we risk having thousands of bodies in mortuaries.

Major referral hospitals, including those which offer private services, are reporting that they have run out of crucial drugs for cancer, diabetes, psychiatric patients and anaesthetics.

Indeed this is a dose of bad news for the collapsing healthcare system – because there is no sign that President Robert Mugabe and his ever bumbling government — will prioritise the health of the citizens.

We must point out that the unsettling news of more drugs shortages comes as Mugabe’s misfiring government has given a measly budget allocation to health services sector despite the humongous and worsening problems it is facing.

In its budget, government has reduced the vote for health from $330, 7 million to a disappointing $282 million — a figure that falls way short of meeting the big demands of the public health services sector.

At the weekend Parirenyatwa hospital warned that the country is left with two weeks’ stock of atracurium — a major anaesthetic drug used in addition to other drugs for muscle relaxation during surgery — after the relocation of drug supplier, GSK which pulled out of the Zimbabwean market last year.

And the new supplier Aspen, has been plagued by delays in remittances — in a situation which has placed the lives of many at risk.

We badly feel that government has let down its people as it has presided over the rot which has seen the health sector experiencing myriad problems which include poor funding and severe shortages of drugs.

Last year, the country’s major referral hospitals had to suspend many services as a result of the shortage of drugs, including painkillers — exposing how much things have fallen apart in the country since the early 2000s.

It’s very difficult to understand how government can prioritise defence and security without considering the health of its people, including its forces.

The figures in the budget sadly show a government that chooses security over health.

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