Zimbabwean doctors have appealed to Parliament to expedite the process of availing safe and user friendly equipment across the country’s public hospitals.
Appearing before the Health and Child Care Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Tuesday, the senior doctors pleaded with the lawmakers to push the Government for equipment.
Doctors from the Southern African country have for years been complaining about the lack of tools of the trade and recently told Parliament that equipment which was purchased from India in 2019 was obsolete.
“We are not worried about branding, all we need is safe and working equipment. We have a lot of work that we should be doing with that equipment.
“The lack of equipment has stalled a lot of work in the hospital and in its absence we can only do so much. We are appealing through this committee that may the Government seriously consider the issue of equipment as a matter of urgency,” said specialist doctor Azza Mashumba who was representing senior doctors.
The doctors also emphasized that in all procurement processes, end users should always be consulted so as to ensure that the right equipment is purchased.
“In the case of the Indian equipment, we were hardly consulted. Most consultation was done at central level and involved directors at the Ministry.
“Concerning the available equipment from India, now our concern is not about lack of consultation, our worry is that the equipment is either obsolete or not safe to use. Some of it was even delivered with missing parts.
“We are not concerned about the branding, all we need is safe and usable equipment so that we can save lives. We are already working with what is available,” added Dr Mashumba.
Having acknowledged their concerns, the legislators pleaded with the doctors to compromise and improvise while making use of the available equipment to save lives.
“I’m pleading with you to improvise and use the available alternative for the benefit of the people. We are a Third World country and sometimes we have to do with what is available and save lives.
“The issue of obsolete equipment that was purchased we are definitely looking into it but my prayer is for you (doctors) to make use of what is there while a lasting solution is being worked on,” said Hurungwe Central legislator Doubt Ndiweni who is a pharmacist by profession.
Chairperson of the Health Committee Dr Ruth Labode however expressed disappointment over the wasting of ‘resources’ on obsolete material.