Govt decides hospitals renovation plan

HARARE - Government has decided on a plan of works to restore health centres and major hospitals, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has said.

The government will also construct a number of rural health centres across the country.

“The capital expenditure provision of $26,7 million will focus on rehabilitating central, provincial and district hospitals as well as the construction of six rural health centres, namely Mbuya Maswa and Chiromo in Zaka, Chibila in Binga, Siyabuwa in Gokwe, Dongamuzi in Lupane and Munemo in Nyanga.

“Furthermore, a provision of $8,2 million is being appropriated for the procurement of medical equipment at district hospitals.

“National Pharmaceutical Company of Zimbabwe (NatPharm) will be allocated $1 million for the construction of medicine warehouses in Bulawayo, Masvingo and Mutare to increase its capacity for cost effective bulk procurement, storage and distribution,” Chinamasa said.

Currently, 95 percent of the drug stocks come from donors, while government is contributing just five percent.

The drug crisis in Zimbabwe had seen major hospitals suspend elective operations last year, with recent revelations that the country had low stocks of anaesthetic drugs.

Also many hospitals in Zimbabwe are relying on outdated equipment and infrastructure.

In most hospitals medical equipment critical for diagnosis and treatment of various diseases are old, obsolete and non-functional.

The majority of the physical health infrastructure is in a state of very serious disrepair. Fixed plant and equipment such as laundry machines, kitchen equipment and boilers are also non-functional.

So dire is the situation that at major referral hospitals only a few people are able to get radiotherapy and X-rays.

The situation is even worse for district hospitals that don’t have equipment at all. Patients are either sent back home or referred to bigger hospitals that are then overwhelmed by demand.

In the wake of the devastating HIV/Aids scourge, most hospitals in the country are yet to acquire the all-important CD4-count machines, which help in determining the stage of infection.