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Zim govt flags UBH theft of drugs, malpractices

by Staff reporter
15 Mar 2024 at 07:13hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT has raised a red flag over alleged acts of mismanagement, corruption in terms of awarding of tenders and theft of essential drugs at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH), one of the country's major referral hospitals.

This emerged during a tour of the hospital by Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Sleiman Kwidini yesterday.

The deputy minister said the ministry is sending a delegation to launch investigations into the alleged misconduct by top hospital management, which includes the UBH's chief medical officer Dr William Busumani.

To allegedly cover up their actions, the top management non-procedurally suspended the hospital's chief pharmacist Dr Juliet Kumurai and two nurses as they were said to be a barrier to the bosses' shady dealings.

The trio was suspended three weeks ago by Dr Busumani and the hospital's operations manager Mr Richard Sithole.

It is also alleged that UBH management fraudulently awarded tenders for the disposal of expired drugs to companies in return for kickbacks.

Deputy Minister Sleiman Kwidini said during his tour he also learnt that some drugs kept at the UBH pharmacy had expired while patients were being forced to buy some drugs elsewhere despite their availability at the hospital.

He said the management also failed to place drug orders from the National Pharmaceuticals Company (NatPharm) thereby short-changing the patients.

"We've come here to get information on the ground so that when the decisions are to be made, they are made properly. We have people who are giving us fake information and statistics such that the Government does its planning based on misinformation," said Deputy Minister Kwidini.

"At UBH, there is a disaster. There are some people who are taking patients' lives for granted by not doing their job. Firstly, we've seen that our pharmacy is supposed to be filled up, unfortunately, someone is sleeping on the job as there are no stocks when we know that NatPharm which we visited before coming here is stocked up."

Deputy Minister, Kwidini lashed out at the UBH management for suspending the chief pharmacist and two nurses, without following proper procedures.

"They decided to suspend the chief pharmacist and some nurses without justification, based on the opinions of just two people (Dr Busumani and Mr Sithole), who did not consult the relevant managers within UBH," he said.

 "These were suspended because they are barriers, especially the chief pharmacist, she's a barrier to the cartel of these drugs, which are being stolen from UBH."

The deputy minister said they will be sending a team to probe acts of mismanagement and irregularities at UBH.

"We found that the problem at UBH is not a Government problem, but individuals, especially the chief medical officer and the operations director. My recommendation is that we send a team to come and investigate because there are so many shenanigans happening at this central hospital," he said.

Deputy Minister, Kwidini said the rot at UBH had gone for too long unnoticed hence Government was moving to address the situation by sending a team for a fact-finding mission.

"Auditors are sent to the ground, not for individuals to promote these cartels. Even the President has been asking about this issue of drug shortages in hospitals, it's a serious matter," he said.

"UBH is one of the institutions that is causing this trouble, especially the management, they are not and they don't have the unity for purpose. Everyone does what he thinks or she thinks is right for himself, or herself."

Deputy Minister, Kwidini said heads are going to roll at UBH.

"I recommend that we send a team on a fact-finding mission, so that we improve service delivery. Heads are going to roll. We don't expect this from people employed by Government and sabotaging the ministry," he said.

"People at UBH have personal interests, they are not worried about the welfare of patients hence these shenanigans, which need to be sanitised.

"People are always expecting kickbacks after awarding tenders to capable people."

Source - The Chronicle
More on: #UBH, #Drugs, #Theft