Mission, council facilities turning away patients?

HARARE - A Mutare based civil rights pressure group has petitioned Parliament on why mission and council health facilities were not recognising referrals from social welfare.

Community Crime Monitoring Project (CCMP) has written to the parliamentary committee on Health to query why council and mission medical institutions in the eastern border city do not recognise referrals from social welfare.

CCMP coordinator Tashaya Mashayahanya said they are referring the issue to Parliament after the ministry of Health and Child Care has not given them any feedback on the issue since they lodged a complaint with them two years ago.

Mashayahanya said although the indigent patient who triggered the issue after she was turned away for wound dressing at Hob House Clinic and St Joseph Hospital only to walk more than five kilometres to Mutare Provincial Hospital following an operation has since recovered many more people could be suffering the same fate.

“This may be a 2016 matter but it stands unresolved and these institutions may be continuing to turn away people who government, through the ministry of Social Welfare, would have qualified as unable to meet the costs of treatment,” Mashayahanya said.

Relying on government institutions is tantamount to denying patients access to health care services.

“It is our belief that council and mission hospitals are there to complement government and are there to profiteer so we need their relationship with the Social Welfare ministry to be clarified for all posterity,” he said.

In the letter to the parliamentary committee on Health, CCMP attached two letters from the Provincial Medical director Patron Mafaune in which she was demanding an explanation on why they had allegedly turned away the patient back in 2016.

Their last letter to the Health ministry was on October 17, 2018.

“We have to date not received any further response from your office. We appeal to your office for a response to enable us to conclude and close this matter,” CCMP wrote. Subsequent enquiries on updates over the past two years have not been responded to, resulting in the pressure group now approaching Parliament to give the matter closure.

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