ONE of the country’s largest referral hospitals, Mpilo Central Hospital is appealing to government for assistance to retain the institution’s specialist doctors compliment which is at an all time low.
Mpilo is reported to have to depend on junior doctors and relies on 15 doctors out of its establishment of 60.
In an interview, Mpilo’s acting clinical director Dr Solwayo Ngwenya said there is a need for government to address the issue of staffing at the institution, as patients were exposed to slow service delivery, as the current compliment can not sustain the demand for services.
He said the shortage of doctors is brought about the fact that most specialists transfer to Harare in pursuit of private practice which gets them better financial returns.
Dr Ngwenya said the hospital, which accommodates between 600 to 700 patients per day, has had to transfer some patients needing specialist attention to Harare and other hospitals, as Mpilo can not offer such services.
“Many specialists want to work in Harare and due to that we have faced many transfers of specialists to the capital and this has led us to refer some patients to other institutions.”
He said although the hospital is facing such challenges, it should not be undermined as is responsible for offering services to half of Zimbabwe’s population.
“The hospital is still very efficient as it provides health services to people from Beitbridge to Victoria Falls, Hwange and Kwekwe, half of the nation so to say,” said Dr Ngwenya.
He said the hospital is still capable of handling maternal operations, both major and minor.
“Daily we are capable of handling between 30 and 40 births,” said Dr Ngwenya.
He added, “It is important to consider where some pregnant women would be taken if this institution was not reliable in handling such situations.”
Dr Ngwenya also said members of the public are required to co-operate and help in the development of the health institution by paying their required hospital bills upon treatment.
“We have faced situations where some members of the public provide us with wrong residential addresses in order to avoid paying their bills and this has led to the failure to fully provide medical attention to some patients as it is important to have finance in the day to day running of a health institution,” said Dr Ngwenya.