Mpilo hospital gets new staff buses Mpilo Central Hospital chief executive Dr Narcisius Dzvanga shows the two TATA buses the hospital received yesterday. Looking on are the hospital procurement officer Mr Prosper Ncube and Matron Norma Mabhena.

Bulawayo Bureau

The Government has fulfilled its promise to avail buses to public hospitals as a means to ease transport challenges for its workers and yesterday Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo confirmed receiving two brand new 65-seater buses.

About 2 200 Mpilo healthcare workers are set to benefit from the recent acquisition amid indications the Ministry of Health and Child Care is also expected to release several ambulances to beef up the hospital fleet and enhance service delivery.

The biggest referral hospital in the southern region last got buses in 2008 and was relying on a single old bus that operates at a maximum speed of 40km per hour.

Confirming the development, Mpilo chief medical officer Dr Narcisius Dzvanga said a transport committee would soon be established to come up with schedules that will ensure all workers benefit and dedicate more time to serving the public.

He said before the delivery of the two buses, Mpilo workers used to rely on the Public Service Commission bus whose schedules would force workers to knock off earlier than programmed.

Besides transporting workers to and from work, the buses will also help workers do community visits from time to time, said Dr Dzvanga.

“We have received two 65-seater buses from the Ministry of Health and Child Care for use by the hospital. For example, the buses will be transporting staff from the station to their pick-up points in town,” he said.

“This will also benefit the school of nursing when they do their community visits and doctors that stay out of Mpilo for example at the Bulawayo Polytechnic and they will be picked up by the same buses.

“It’s a welcome and historical event as all hospitals last got buses from the Dr Gideon Gono era. Those buses didn’t last long because they were not durable and the transport was a major issue hence the wear and tear was very rapid.”

Dr Dzvanga the new buses will greatly relieve the staff members from the transport challenges, which also boosts their morale.

“All along we have been using the PSC buses and we had to log into their table even if it was not what our staff would want. Everything being equal these buses are going to be managed by the station and the staff can recommend the times that we can use for the schedule,” he said. “If the transport committee decides to take workers to the western areas, we will establish which areas so that it’s convenient. We are working on registration and waiting for a report and we will see how best we can start using our buses.”

Dr Dzvanga revealed that the hospital was also waiting for ambulances from the parent ministry as Mpilo is part of the beneficiary list.

“These new buses are durable and we hope that they won’t require much servicing. Our ambulances are far from being enough even if you see them parked outside the hospital, there are very few that can go to Harare and come back without a breakdown,” he said. 

“If I am not mistaken, we only have one ambulance that works, the rest are ever down. I am pleased to say we are on the list of beneficiaries for ambulances am hoping it’s not an ambulance but ambulances.

“We need to remove the current fleet completely and have 10 new ambulances that will fulfil our mandate to pick up patients who are beyond 24km away from Bulawayo. 

“We also transport inter-hospital patients for services that are not available at Mpilo. We no longer want four wheels with a shell, but anticipate vehicles that have, but an intensive care unit within so that we offer guaranteed healthcare.”

Zimbabwe has plans to acquire at least 200 surface ambulances, which will be distributed according to pressing needs and on an equity basis. This year, 40 ambulances have already been purchased and more are expected to be delivered.

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