|Outcry over specimen tests|
|Tuesday, 24 April 2012 16:38|
Zimbabweans have registered dismay over the departure from the norm by hospitals which are now requesting patients to personally deliver their specimen samples to laboratories for testing.
For the correct diagnosis of diseases, normally doctors require specimen from patients which will be tested in laboratories.
While this is normal anywhere in the world, Zimbabwean patients are required to carry their urine, stool, blood or even body tissues and personally deliver them to laboratories.
People who spoke to ZBC News condemned this system which is currently obtaining in the local health delivery system, saying it is dehumanising patients.
“This is inhuman, the government should take measures as a matter of urgency before people lose faith in the country’s health delivery system,” said one patient.
Some specimen samples once collected are supposed to be taken to the laboratory immediately or refrigerated.
Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr Douglas Mombeshora said hospitals are supposed to engage service providers who collect specimen samples to laboratories, adding that the Ministry is now investigating what has necessitated hospitals to resort to the disgraceful practice.
“We have set up a team to carry out investigations on why hospitals are now requesting patients to take own samples to laboratories. We have also called for a stakeholders’ meeting because in the past hospitals made arrangements with service providers and samples were collected from hospitals using courier services,” said Dr Mombeshora.
Under normal circumstances, specimens should be transported to the laboratory by courier services companies without delay to ensure optimal results.
The transporters dispatching the specimen to the laboratory were responsible for ensuring that the specimen is packaged correctly, and does not pose a risk to anyone coming in contact with it during delivery.