January 21, 2020

Crayton’s cry for help

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Mirirai Nsingo

Crayton Bhisenti on a hospital stretcher bed on the outpatient department at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospital in Harare hoping for a miracle.

The 38-year-old Bhisenti travelled from Murehwa, accompanied by his mother, to seek medical attention after being injured in a road accident in September 2019.

The accident left him with fractures on both legs and requiring surgery.

However, the surgery is yet to be done as doctors are on strike.

 “I was told to go home a few weeks after admission. I was still in pain, with fractured bones but the nurses told me there was not much they could do as the hospital had no doctors,” Bhisenti said.

On Monday, Bhisenti was among the many patients at Parirenyatwa desperately in need of specialist care.

He hoped that this time the heavens will smile on him.

“This strike has caused a lot of suffering on ordinary people. My son was discharged despite his need for medical care. We are back today as he was told to come back on January 20.

“He needs to be examined by a doctor, we have been waiting since morning and we are not sure that we will get the much needed help. He is desperately in need of assistance, he is in pain,” adds Bhisenti’s mother, Grace.

Bhisenti’s story mirrors that of hundreds of patients desperately in need of medical care in the face of the continued doctor’s strike.

The patients have been caught in the crossfire of the impasse between doctors and the Government.

It is the poor who are more vulnerable as they cannot afford to seek medical care at private health care institutions.

In September 2019 Zimbabwe’s junior doctors  downed tools citing incapacitation among other challenges.

Then a series saw senior doctors also downing tools and crippling operations at Government hospitals.

But there seems to be some sun shining.

On Tuesday the Zimbabwe Senior Hospital Doctors Association said the doctors had agreed to scale up services at referral hospitals in the wake of the untold suffering that this impasse has caused.

“In a meeting of the members of the SHDA on 20 January 2020, members agreed to upscale from only offering emergency services to include the urgent cases which could not be assisted all along based on the assessment done by the executive.

“This is meant to ease the suffering of the masses who are the consumers of our services despite the lack of commitment from the Ministry of Health and Child Care,” reads part of the statement.

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