Syringe with drugs for diabetes treatment

The drug shortages that are being experienced in the country have not spared Mutare Provincial Hospital with nurses describing the situation as dire.

Drug shortages have become a major challenge at the hospital which has resulted in patients going for days without treatment.

This was revealed when the Health Services Board toured the provincial hospital.

Most patients at the hospital are failing to buy drugs due to the high cost and lack of foreign currency.

The hospital is also short-staffed which has resulted in more work for the nurses.

Despite the deployment of 20 new nurses at the hospital earlier this year there is still a shortage as there are more departments that are now functional which require personnel.

In most departments, student nurses end up preforming duties of nurses instead of learning from them.

Mutare Provincial Hospital Acting Medical Superintendent Dr Emmanuel Sedze confirmed the challenges.

“I believe and hope that this visit will improve our health care for the people of Manicaland at large. There are things which are critical which we noted, things like staffing  – the hospital is short-staffed in all disciplines. Some of our equipment is also absolute and we also need to purchase new equipment,” said Dr Sedze.

Apart from drug shortages and shortage of staff, the provincial hospital faces challenges in dysfunctional equipment in the physio-therapy department.

There is no bedding in some wards and lack of adequate infrastructure.

Health Service Board Chairperson Dr Paulinus Sikosana said the tour of the hospital was an eye opener as he witnessed the deplorable state of infrastructure and the unfavourable working conditions of health workers.

“This particular hospital is old infrastructure and it has suffered from disrepair for a long time. I think like all other health institutions in the country, we seem to have a problem of maintaining them in a spick and span way basically because of resource constrains,” said Dr Sikosana.

The Health Service Board is set to tour central hospitals across the country meeting staff as well as giving them an ear to some of their grievances.