Accident victims denied treatment at hospital

HARARE - Passengers Association of Zimbabwe has expressed displeasure over the treatment of accident victims at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals after an accident during celebrations over former president Robert Mugabe’s resignation.

The association said it witnessed victims not being attended to as they did not have the required money to cover their medical bills.

However, the hospital — in response to questions sent by the Daily News — said the policy of the hospital was to treat every case and then claim the money later, as they invited the association to a meeting for dialogue on how the processes work.

The accident involving a kombi and an Isuzu twin cab occurred at the corner of Samora Machel Avenue and Leopold Takawira Street. One person died while 11 were injured.

“We, as Passengers Association of Zimbabwe, believe that victims of road accidents should get all the medical assistance they need as a matter of urgency, including x-rays and medication, whether they or their relatives have the immediate financial capacity to pay for medical services,” the association said in a statement.

“People cannot suffer or die because they do not have the finances. No one foresees a road accident, which is why it is an accident and government hospitals should prioritise saving lives and reducing the suffering of accident victims.

“We visited the accident victims at Parirenyatwa Hospital. When we got there just after the accident, victims were being asked to buy medication. Those who did not have money to buy medication started phoning their relatives for assistance.”

Parirenyatwa Hospital

Parirenyatwa Hospital

The hospital’s public relations department said the statement by the association showed lack of appreciation to hospital procedures, hence the need for dialogue.

“We have noted that concerns may have arisen due to lack of appreciation of how the system works.

“The hospital has arranged a meeting with the Passenger Association of Zimbabwe to clarify the issues and listen to their concerns,” the public relations department said in written responses.

“Parirenyatwa Hospital Group treats all accident victims without the requirement of payment upfront.

“Accident victims are attended to as emergencies and payments are claimed from the respective insurance companies after patients are attended to.”

“Where the victims are not covered by insurance, the hospital attends to them immediately and they will be given their bills afterwards.

“The fact that some insurance companies owe the hospital substantial amounts of money is clear indication that accident victims are being treated before making payments.

“In this particular case, and as usual, all the victims of the accident were attended to without any payment and those who had soft tissue injuries were immediately discharged and given prescriptions to buy medicines after x-rays were done on them and reviewed by the doctors.”