The idea of being admitted at Harare hospital would scare many people, not because of procedures or injections but the conditions that some of the wards are in, especially the ablution facilities.

It is however no longer the case at one of the wards adopted and refurbished by a local beverages firm at one of the country’s largest referral centres.

There is no more peeling paint and out-of-date equipment at the newly refurbished Ward B8 as the government intensifies efforts to improve health service delivery through partnerships with companies in the private sector.

Male patients admitted that the newly refurbished ward now meets their expectations.

“We are happy at this development and getting into the toilet is now a pleasure to us. Being admitted in such an environment raises patients’ spirits which is key to recovery,”  said one patient.

Before the renovations, the ward had almost become a health hazard rather than a place of treatment, with obsolete equipment, peeling walls and broken floor tiles, according to the hospital CEO, Dr  Tinashe Dhobbie.

“One of the nurses working in the wards once complained that there were potholes in the ward and it was difficult to push trolleys or other equipment. This is something not desirable for such an institution, which we have committed ourselves to address,” he said.

The Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Obediah Moyo said the adoption of the ward by a private company is a clear testimony of a working public private partnership.

“Your support will definitely lessen pressure on the already strained budget and will thus allow the government to concentrate on the provisions of health for other vulnerable populations in keeping with the universal health coverage theme: ‘Leaving No One Behind,’ he said.

The renovations took almost half a year after the company entered into a mutual agreement with the hospital.

The company has also adopted the ward and will continue to ensure that standards are maintained.

Most hospitals are now adopting the public private partnerships concept as the model has proven to be an effective way of improving standards.