Senior Doctors Dismiss State Media ‘Propaganda’, Reveal Dire Situation At Mpilo Hospital {Full Text}

CLARIFICATION OF CURRENT STATE OF MPILO CENTRAL HOSPITAL

The senior doctors are dismayed by a recently published newspaper article in the Sunday News of 03/11/2019 headlined “we won’t watch people die: Mpilo boss’.

We are surprised that this article portrays a normal functioning hospital with most doctors available at work. As senior doctors we feel it is only correct for the public to know the truth as follows:

1. Most junior doctors are still incapacitated and are not able to attend to their daily duties
from 03/09/2019.

2. Middle-level doctors remain incapacitated with some department HMOs formally
declaring incapacitation on 17/10/2019. Ward rounds are no longer consistent and calls are no longer 24-hour calls.

3. Senior-level doctors are also incapacitated although some have been attending to few
emergency cases.

4. The flexi-hours system was suggested by the ministry and allows nurses to work 2
days a week a situation which has made working in the hospital impossible as few nurses will be looking after patients at each given time.

Sometimes 2 nurses per shift in a ward. This flexi-hours system has caused disruption in continuity of care and has led to avoidable deaths in the wards.

5. Outpatient Department has been closed for the past 2 months and no patients are being attended to at the moment. All chronic conditions patients are thus prejudiced from proper care.

6. In the Department of Medicine, there is a poor supply of medications and most patients have to take samples to private laboratories at an inflated expense.

Currently, patients with chronic conditions are not able to access treatment due to closure of the outpatients’ department. Chronic kidney disease patients on dialysis rely on own funds to buy most of the consumables.

7. Casualty Department is open patients have to wait long hours before being attended
to as most casualty officers are incapacitated to come and attend to patients on time.

Some patients are admitted without a clear plan and only to be seen the next day. This has resulted in avoidable deaths as patients are falsely reassured that are doctors available to attend to them.

8. In the Department of Surgery and Anaesthesia, theatres are only attending to emergency
cases and they remain under-equipped to carry out specialised procedures.

Only 4 out of 10 theatres are currently functional. Paediatric theatre is non-functional and maternity recovery rooms have no monitors.

In Neurosurgery the department is almost shut down due to lack of equipment. The equipment is outdated and is no longer recommended for use.

9. In Paediatrics the situation on the ground is dire as some departments are closed eg
Nutrition unit and outpatients department. The new-borns unit is short-staffed resulting in an increase in perinatal mortality and morbidity.

10. In Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the department is attending to emergency maternity
and gynaecology cases. However, no elective cases are being done and teaching has been affected.

11. The incapacitation has also disrupted proper learning for medical students and interns
who are supposed to work under supervision.

Conclusion

Contrary to peddled reports, the situation at Mpilo is critical and any attempt to view it as normal would be tantamount to propagating a silent genocide.

Lifesaving equipment is in a state of disrepair, essential drugs and sundries are unavailable, while hospital staff cannot afford to come to work.

We are incapacitated as highlighted by SHDA members across the country and we demand that the situation be treated with the urgency it deserves.
// SHDA


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