Zimbabwe Speaker of Parliament exposes rot at central hospitals- says relative’s son was only operated after he intervened


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Zimbabwe Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda told Parliament yesterday that a son of his relative spent six months waiting for an operation at Parirenyatwa Hospital and was only attended to after he phoned the hospital.

He said this in support of opposition legislator James Sithole who complained that there was a lot of corruption at Bulawayo’s largest central hospital, Mpilo.

Sithole said some people had been waiting for operations since last year but were not being attended to merely because they had not paid bribes to get the services.

He said this also applied to x-rays, scans and even drugs prescribed by doctors.

“There are patients that have been on the queue to go to theatre since December 31, 2021 and they have not been able to have the opportunity to go to theatre. The reason is that each time their allocated dates arrive to go to theatre, excuses are given.  They are told that there are no doctors to attend to them; they are told that there are no necessary materials in the theatre; they are told that their temperature is too high for them to go to theatre,” he said.

“However, the truth is that it is because they would have not paid a bribe to doctors that range between $300 to 700 or more.  Surprisingly, doctors are able to carry out procedures using the same theatres on their private patients without paying anything to the hospital.”

Mudenda told Sithole that he should have raised the issue with Health Minister Constantino Chiwenga the previous day as the Vice-President, who was also Acting President, was in Parliament during question time. 

When Sithole said he did not get a chance to ask the previous day, Mudenda said next time he should talk to his Chief Whip, but added that he was going to ask the minister to make a statement on the health delivery system at central hospitals.

Full debate:

HON. JAMES SITHOLE: Thank you Mr. Speaker and Good afternoon.  My matter of national interest is to bring to the attention of this august House and the nation at large the decay in the delivery systems at national Government Central Hospitals. 

I will give an example of what is happening at Mpilo Central Hospital.  I am referring to corrupt activities which are unnecessarily exposing patients that are already suffering to more suffering and to premature death. 

There are patients that have been on the queue to go to theatre since December 31, 2021 and they have not been able to have the opportunity to go to theatre. The reason is that each time their allocated dates arrive to go to theatre, excuses are given.  They are told that there are no doctors to attend to them; they are told that there are no necessary materials in the theatre; they are told that their temperature is too high for them to go to theatre.

However, the truth is that it is because they would have not paid a bribe to doctors that range between $300 to 700 or more.  Surprisingly, doctors are able to carry out procedures using the same theatres on their private patients without paying anything to the hospital.

Continued next page

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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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