Hospitals are holding discharged patients to ransom says Bulawayo MP


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Nketa Member of Parliament Phelela Masuku has complained that two of Bulawayo’s major government  hospitals, Mpilo and United Bulawayo Hospitals, are holding discharged patients to ransom by demanding that they pay at least half of their bills before leaving the hospital.

He said this was very disturbing because people did not have the money because of the prevailing economic situation. Besides, conditions at the hospitals were appalling.

“There is no medication in our hospitals, there is poor food quality, somebody who is sick is just given sadza without relish. It is so sad, where we are expecting our people to get life in those hospitals but people are made to acquire almost everything in those hospitals.

“Furthermore, what is disturbing is that when our people are discharged, there is overwhelming pressure on people to settle their bills yet we are all aware that with the high levels of unemployment, where are they are going to get that money?

“I am appealing to the government to look at this issue like in the case of Mpilo, UBH, we have heard of cases where when patients want to be discharged, they are told to pay half down. It is so sad, I am again appealing to the government to be so serious about this thing and it has to take care of its people because that is the role of government.”

Masuku also said it was disheartening that almost halfway through the term of the current Parliament, the government has not yet set up provincial councils as demanded by the new constitution.

“It is notable that people are still waiting for provincial councils to be established. Madam Speaker, as we speak now, we are in the Third Session of the Eighth Parliament without setting up these provincial councils. In my view, people are going to judge us as dishonest people. People spoke; what is provided in the Constitution, are the wishes of the people which we are supposed to observe and which the government and the legislature should implement. Madam Speaker, I therefore appeal to the Executive to have the political will to implement the provisions of the Constitution,” he said.

 

Full contribution:

 

MR. P. MASUKU: Thank you Madam Speaker, for affording me this opportunity. The President spoke about acceleration of the alignment of laws into the new Constitution but sadly, the process is very slow. Madam Speaker, as the nation celebrates that we have a home grown Constitution, it is so sad that the Government is reluctant to expedite the process.

It is notable that people are still waiting for provincial councils to be established. Madam Speaker, as we speak now, we are in the Third Session of the Eighth Parliament without setting up these provincial councils. In my view, people are going to judge us as dishonest people. People spoke; what is provided in the Constitution, are the wishes of the people which we are supposed to observe and which the Government and the legislature should implement. Madam Speaker, I therefore appeal to the Executive to have the political will to implement the provisions of the Constitution.

Madam Speaker, the President spoke about the provision of quality education as a key priority to the nation’s development. I agree Madam Speaker but as we speak right now, we still have our pupils travelling very long distances in order to have access to education. We also have a situation in our constituencies where schools are overcrowded and when they are overcrowded like that, parents are even forced to look for schools for their children elsewhere, with the situation that we currently have in the country of unemployment further burdening parents and guardians on transport costs.

Madam Speaker, as enshrined in our Constitution, education is a right to our children but as we speak now, those parents who are not employed cannot afford to pay school fees and examination fees. I wish the Government should take note of that and do something about it. On the same note, people are paying taxes; businesses are paying taxes to Government, these taxes should go towards assisting those who are not employed, social welfare should be capacitated in order to assist our people who are not employed.

Madam Speaker, on the issue of corruption, it has been said that corruption is bad but it looks like it is becoming a talk show because our people want to see results and action. They do not want to hear anyone talking about corruption, they know that there is a high level of corruption in our country but they want to know what we are doing as a nation about it.

Madam Speaker, on the issue of health, the health sector is compounded with numerous challenges. There is no medication in our hospitals, there is poor food quality, somebody who is sick is just given sadza without relish. It is so sad, where we are expecting our people to get life in those hospitals but people are made to acquire almost everything in those hospitals.

Furthermore, what is disturbing is that when our people are discharged, there is overwhelming pressure on people to settle their bills yet we are all aware that with the high levels of unemployment, where are they are going to get that money? I am appealing to the Government to look at this issue like in the case of Mpilo, UBH, we have heard of cases where when patients want to be discharged, they are told to pay half down. It is so sad, I am again appealing to the Government to be so serious about this thing and it has to take care of its people because that is the role of Government. Thank you.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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