The need to look into the provision of health services in rural communities has once again come under the spotlight amid revelations that patients in Mutasa district of Manicaland Province are being forced to travel all the way to Mutare for medical services.

Hauna District Hospital, which serves as a referral centre for the district, has been operating without an x-ray machine for over a year now, forcing patients to travel to Mutare for medical services.

Mutasa district medical officer, Dr Cephas Fonte highlighted the plight of TB patients who are succumbing to the disease as they cannot afford to travel to Mutare, let alone pay for services at private hospitals.

“Our major challenge is the x-ray machine.  The machine needs a software upgrade. It is difficult for us to run without the machine as it disadvantages the community. We have other challenges with our wards as there is not enough space. We also need beds for the maternity ward,” said Dr Fonte.

Mutasa north legislator, Cde Chimonyo Madiwa urged the government and the corporate world to intervene and save lives.

“We will push for this situation to be resolved. This is a district hospital and it needs attention because the whole district depends on it. Health is a critical sector and we need our people to get services whenever they need them,” Cde Madiwa said.

Hauna District Hospital was built in 1998 with the aim of improving health service delivery in the district and decongesting Bonda Mission Hospital.