Govt rolls out free dialysis service for kidney patients

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

THE government has rolled out free dialysis care programme at Parirenyatwa Hospital with the programme expected to be extended to other referral health centres throughout the country.

In a recent interview with NewZimbabwe.Com, Health and Child Care minister, David Parirenyatwa said the scheme will be financed by the health fund.

“We have started free dialysis care at Parirenyatwa Hospital,” said the minister.

“We hope to extend the same facility to other provincial hospitals in the near future.

“The Health Fund will support the programme.”

Although the minister insisted that the free renal treatment is only confined to Parirenyatwa Hospital at the moment, sources at Mpilo hospital in Bulawayo told New that the government has already directed that all referral hospitals should not charge patients with kidney ailments.

“We are having a challenge here at Mpilo,” said a doctor at the referral centre who refused to be named for fear of victimisation.

“The government towards the elections directed us to treat patients on dialysis for free of

“The challenge is that renal treatment is very expensive, and the government has not availed any subsidy for the free treatment.”

The doctor said a single dialysis session costs about $150 per patient in consumables.

Kidney patients attend dialysis sessions twice a week.

“Dialysis is a very expensive process. Apart from the consumables, the machines are also very expensive to maintain,” said the doctor.

Zimbabwe has been experiencing a shortage of dialysis machines for renal patients and people with kidney ailments can only access the machines in Bulawayo, Harare and Chitungwiza.