United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) and Mpilo Central Hospital will continue attending to people without asking them to first produce COVID-19 testing certificates, acting Mpilo clinical director Dr Xolani Ndlovu has said.
Dr Ndlovu said UBH was still offering health care services to people from eastern suburbs while patients from western areas should go to Mpilo. He said:
What is supposed to happen and according to our agreement, UBH is the hospital that is going to be admitting patients that have Covid-19. This only applies to admission and doesn’t include medical attention at casualty.
Only in a situation when a patient is already known to be Covid-19 positive on PCR is he/she taken to UBH regardless of which zone they are coming from. All other patients use the usual zoning method.
What then happens when patients get to Mpilo and are suspected to be Covid-19 positive is that they are going to be seen and tested using a PCR.
That patient is admitted to a holding ward which we call ward for persons under investigations or PUI in short.
When the patient is positive the person is moved to UBH or Thorngrove when they have space or Ekusileni once it opens.
If the result is negative, they are moved from PUI to normal wards. When a patient is at UBH, they are admitted into isolation wards and when negative, they are transferred to Mpilo. There is no policy that says people need PCR test before being attended to.
In July, the Bulawayo provincial medical directorate decided to reserve UBH for COVID-19 patients.
The city has COVID-19 designated centres, namely; Ekusileni Health Centre, Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital and Old Bartley Memorial Block within UBH, but they are not ready to admit anyone.