Government has been urged to prioritise the refurbishment of Mutare Provincial Hospital as it is presently struggling to cope with the province’s burgeoning population.
Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs Cde Monica Mutsvangwa last week said the 71-year-old hospital was overwhelmed by cases referred from district hospitals.
“We are appealing to Government to prioritise the expansion of the hospital. When it was built in 1947, the population of Manicaland was still small. Since then, there has been no change in terms of infrastructure at the hospital, which now caters for 1,8 million people because all district hospitals refer their patients to it,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the hospital has been desperately converting some verandas into wards to accommodate more patients.
“Verandas have been turned into wards because our hospital cannot hold all patients being referred here and this is not good. We need to have proper wards to put our patients in,” she said.
She said the health institution needed more specialist doctors, as well as upgraded clinical laboratories.
Most of the country’s main referral hospitals are in need of refurbishment for them to adequately provide services to all patients.
Last year, Government scrapped medical fees for infants, senior citizens and pregnant women at all State-run hospitals to improve access to health care.
The decision by Government to recruit more nurses who were previously unemployed to improve the staff complement in public hospitals has also been welcome, as most hospitals have been short-staffed.
However, there have been concerns regarding the availability and pricing of drugs in a majority of these hospitals.