February 5, 2020

Theatre crisis at Sally Mugabe hospital

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Mirirai Nsingo

Zimbabwe’s biggest referral hospital, Sally Mugabe, formerly known as Harare Central hospital, only has four out of 16 theatres functioning due to a myriad of challenges.

This emerged during a hospital assessment tour by the Health and Child Care Parliamentary Portfolio Committee, with clinical director, Dr Christopher Pasi saying the institution is only running the four theatres.

Chaired by Dr Ruth Labode, the committee was investigating reports of the deteriorating state of healthcare, conditions of service of medical personnel, as well as lack of equipment and essentials at the public health institution.

“At the moment we are just running four theatres due to lack of equipment, human resources and flexi hours that were introduced.

“We are only running one of each of the maternal, adult, casualty and paediatric theatres. Although doctors have returned to work, following an assessment we resolved to run the four given the prevailing challenges,” Dr Pasi said.

As the parliamentarians toured the largest referral hospital, it was virtually deserted with Dr Pasi admitting that business was yet to return to normalcy following the over four months long strike which crippled services at major hospitals.

“Some doctors have since returned to work and maybe those who have not come back have found other options.

“The hospital does face serious shortages of human resources including doctors and nurses, equipment and water, among others,” Dr Pasi said.

Zimbabwean doctors who have been on strike since September 2019, resumed work at the end of January 2020.

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