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Some of the women attending a meeting in Nkulumane suburb

Council clinics criticised over poor services

By Samantha Ndebele

RESIDENTS in Bulawayo’s Nkulumane and Makokoba suburbs have expressed concern over poor service delivery in the local authority run clinics, saying the staff does not attend to them timeously.

Speaking during Radio Dialogue’s community dialogue meetings recently, residents charged that the workers in the local clinics are neglecting patients, as take long to attend to them even in cases of emergency.

A Makokoba resident Sinikiwe Sithole said when they go to the clinic for treatment they are told to pay a consultation fee, at the same time instructed to buy medication on their own.

“I do not understand the fact that we pay a consultation fee for us to get treated and we are then prescribed to purchase drugs using our own monies yet we would have paid already,” said Sithole.

She said even the old aged are made to pay while we were told they are not supposed to, this happens at Mzilikazi clinic as well as Mpilo hospital.

“The system is really causing us pain, not everyone can afford to pay the consultation fees and again buy medication on their own, the instant situation in Zimbabwe is very bad, money is hard to come by,” said Sithole.

Another resident from Makokoba suburb Nomalanga Khumalo encouraged the nurses from the local clinics to cease keeping patients waiting for so long in queues as that is not good for ailing people.

“We are made to wait in queues for too long while nurses will be busy entertaining their personal visitors, we are saying by doing that patients are likely to die while in line waiting to be served, therefore the staff should stop delaying as it is not good for the public they claim to serve,” said Khumalo.

A resident from Nkulumane Ruth Mahlangu lamented the slow service at Nkulumane Clinic.

“The nurses have inhabited some carelessness, lazy conduct which we do not understand is coming from, they take much time to attend to patients and the habit is very awkward for sick patients, we are urging them to desist from the act so as to push forward improvement in our communities,” said Mahlangu.

Residents also said the tea break and lunch time for nurses takes forever and they added that the councillor said the council is not allowed to employ workers because there are no resources hence the short of staff has at some point brought about these challenges.

Commenting on the residents’ concerns, Makokoba councillor James Sithole said the old aged do not pay consultation fees at Mpilo, instead it is a must to pay at local council clinics because nurses at council clinics work harder than nurses.

“At government hospitals they do everything from consultation to prescribing medication and the remuneration is higher,” said Sithole.

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