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Residents worried about neglect at Mpilo Hospital

By Walter Dlamini

Bulawayo residents have expressed concern amid “neglect” they suffer at the hands of some Mpilo Central Hospital staff, saying the institution needs to improve on it’s service delivery.

The residents said the hospital’s poor communication methods with patients, characterised by “harsh”, “hostile” utterances and informal communication are some of the few wrongs done by some members of the staff which worsen the conditions of some patients, especially those suffering from high blood pressure.

Speaking to Radio Dialogue, some residents said the hospital has poor service delivery which has caused them to lose hope in the institution’s health services, raising issues of public concern.

A Pumula resident, Ntando Ndlovu- a high blood pressure patient at Mpilo said she Monday received an SMS message from the accounts department threatening to send debt collector if she failed to pay the amount she owed in 24 hours.

“It has not been a month since I was discharged from the hospital, on April 19 and here they are threatening to send me debt collectors to seize my property, it surprises me because upon admission I notified the authorities that I am unemployed and I have no immediate means to pay the charges.”

Ndlovu said such threats are high likely to worsen her condition, proving her time at the hospital fruitless.

“It bothers me so much, because it now seems as if I have dodged paying the bill, there is a cash crisis in the country, banks have no money, my daughter promised to help pay the charges this month end, where do they expect me to get the money when the banks have no money.”

A Lobengula resident Roderick Moyo said his condition was ignored and was sent away “like a dog” from the hospital when he was in pain.

“My neighbour recently died at the hospital when he was in a critical condition following the hospital staff’s reluctance to attend to him,” he lamented.

Moyo called on the government and human rights activists to send agents to go in disguise and monitor a gross infringement of human rights at the institution, in order to monitor and take action to save lives.

Meanwhile, following the break down of a radiotherapy machine at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe Women in Politics Alliance (ZWIPA) last week threatened to stage a demonstration in the capital, saying the government does not prioritise issues of public welfare.

“It is disheartening that the government of Zimbabwe splashes money on trivial matters at the expense of basic healthcare services of Zimbabwean citizens, members of the public are being denied their constitutional right as enshrined in Section 76 of Zimbabwe’s constitution on the right to healthcare,” said Zwipa founder and national co-ordinator Linda Masarira.

She said the money that was used to celebrate Mugabe’s birthday should have been used to acquire radiotherapy machines for cancer patients.

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