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Doctors get ultimatum to return patients' rice they looted for Christmas

12/02/2017 00:00:00
by Matebeleland South Correspondent
 
 
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DOCTORS and nurses at Gwanda Provincial Hospital who, over last Christmas, shared a five-tonne rice loot meant for patients have been given until the end of June this year to return 20kgs of rice each.

This follows a decision by hospital management to divert five tonnes of rice meant for ailing patients and hand it over to 200 hundred staff members at the institution.

A health official at the institution who spoke on condition of anonymity for professional reasons said they have received communication ordering them to return the rice donated by the Chinese government.

The memo was reportedly signed by the Hospital’s administrator on behalf of medical superintendent Dr Pugie Chimberengwa.

“The memo indicates that all those who benefited must return the rice by 30 June this year,” said a nurse.

The hospital received eight tonnes of rice in November last year under the Presidential Feeding Scheme but reserved three tonnes for patients and seized the remainder arguing there wasn’t enough storage space.

However, the hospital staff have been forced to return the rice following the intervention of Social Welfare Officer Totambirepi Tirivavi.

Tirivavi accused the care-givers of being insensitive towards patients who have, on several occasions, relied on isitshwala and cabbage with the hospital struggling to offer alternative meals.

A fortnight ago, Matabeleland South provincial affairs minister Abedinico Ncube visited the hospital ostensibly to investigate the rice scandal.

He reportedly criticised the hospitals’ top management over the issue.

Like major hospitals across the country, Gwanda has had to rely on the benevolence of donors with government unable to meet operational costs at its health facilities.



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