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Mpilo situation critical: Doctors

by Staff reporter
10 Nov 2019 at 08:42hrs | Views
The Zimbabwe Senior Doctors Association (ZSDA) has said the situation at Mpilo Hospital was far from normal as most doctors were on strike.

Responding to sentiments by Clinical Director Dr Solwayo Ngwenya that 71 percent of doctors were not on strike and major procedures were not suspended, in a statement last week, the doctors said most junior and middle doctors were incapacitated and on strike.

Without giving statistics, the association said the outpatients department was closed and patients have to wait for long hours to be attended to at the casualty department.

"Contrary to peddled reports, the situation at Mpilo is critical. Lifesaving equipment is in a state of despair, essential drugs and sundries are unavailable, while hospital staff cannot afford to come to work. We are incapacitated as highlighted by ZSDA members across the country and we demand that the situation be treated with the urgency it deserves."

The doctors said the flexi-hours system suggested by the Ministry of Health and Child Care which allows nurses to work two days per week has left those on duty with a lot of work to do.

"Sometimes there are two nurses per shift in a ward. This flexi-hours system has caused disruption in continuity of care and has led to avoidable deaths in the wards.

"The outpatient department has been closed for the past two months and no patients are being attended to at the moment. All chronic conditions patients are thus prejudiced from proper care."

The doctors also complained of lack of medicine to treat patients. The doctors' association added that the department of surgery and anaesthesia were only attending to emergency cases, with four out of 10 theatres working.

However, Dr Ngwenya said the hospital was open and offering life saving treatment.

"Like I said there are some doctors on strike but more are reporting for duty and essential services are being offered. The hospital is not closed and doing far much better than most hospitals across the country which have also been affected by the strike," he said.

Dr Ngwenya had earlier said from a complement of 204 doctors, 144 doctors were at work.

"About 71 percent of doctors across all grades are at work. We have eight who are on leave and 52 doctors who are on strike.

"While we cannot operate as smoothly as we would wish, we are still able to attend to everyone who comes to the hospital.

"We attend to over 200 patients every day. We have 600 patients admitted to various wards and they are all getting medical care."

However, when Sunday News visited the hospital last week, activity in the outpatients and casualty wards appeared subdued.

"The nurses are here and attending to people but we have been waiting for doctors to come.

"We were told to wait here. I'm not sure when the doctors will come. I have been here for about two hours," said Mr Mgcini Ndlovu from Nguboyenja suburb.

In most hospitals, specialised medical procedures have been suspended, with patients being rebooked and advised to come back when the strike by doctors has ended.

Some patients in need of eye specialist attention at Richard Morris at the United Bulawayo Hospitals were rebooked to as far as January 2020.

Source - sundaynews

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