|Decongest central hospitals: Expert|
|Monday, 16 July 2012 15:15|
HARARE and Bulawayo Metropolitan provinces need at least six district hospitals each to effectively save their communities and decongest central hospitals, a senior Government official has said.
Health and Child Welfare deputy director policy, development and planning Mr Stephen Banda said a lot of minor cases, were referred to central hospitals at the expense of serious cases.
There are five central hospitals in Zimbabwe — Parirenyatwa, Harare, Chitungwiza, Mpilo and United Bulawayo Hospitals — strategically positioned in the country’s two major cities for a smooth referral chain.
These clinics are usually manned by a nurse and nurse aids. But if a patient needs the attention of a doctor, the nurse refers the patient to a district hospital.
do not require services of a specialist doctor.
However, if the doctor feels the patient needs further management, he then refers to a provincial hospital where the patient meets specialist doctors for special ailments such as gynaecological problems.
This has left a few concentrated at central institutions.
“This scenario could be eased if all district and provincial hospitals are better equipped and skilled health professionals are given an incentive that lures them back to the institutions.” Mr Banda said considering the population of Harare and Bulawayo and the magnitude of disease burden in today’s world, the cities need not less than six district institutions each to avoid minor cases congesting central institutions.
Harare City Council director of Health Services Dr Stanley Mungofa said there have been plans since early 1990s to have district hospitals for Harare. He, however, said council was considering building a hospital that caters for middle income earners.
“We are considering coming up with an institution that caters for middle income earners. There are other people who say they cannot go to council clinics because they are too cheap for them, but also cannot afford high costs charged by private clinics,” Dr Mungofa said.