United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH), acting chief executive officer, Narcisius Dzvanga has said that government hospitals are struggling to cope with the number of patients. She told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Women and Youth Affairs on Monday that patients were avoiding council clinics and going straight to government hospitals because of the government’s free health care policy.
We are caught up between patients who argue that they have the right to choose which hospital they want to be treated at and we cannot stop them. We are supposed to be taking referred cases and we have written to the director of city health before, asking him to make sure they contain straightforward cases. Patients come here straight and we use resources on simple cases that do not require a specialist’s attention for free and there is nothing we can do.
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Women and Youth Committee chairperson Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga echoed Davanga’s sentiments saying,
People are no longer going to clinics where they are supposed to pay $30, they come to provincial clinics where we saw an overflow of pregnant women with some on floor beds risking infections. Central hospitals are raising concerns that now they have an added responsibility, yet resources were not enough anyway now that poses a problem.