By Paidashe Mandivengerei
ZIMBABWE is aiming to ease pressure on its major referral hospitals by establishing district health centres across the country, Health Minister Obadiah Moyo said Thursday.
According to Moyo, the district hospitals will create a referral system and improve the nation’s doctor/patient ratio.
Moyo was speaking at the Zimbabwe Medical Association (ZIMA) 2019 annual scientific congress held in Harare.
“We want to go on further and ensure that primary health care is well taken care of. We find patients with headaches approaching referral centers. So we want to ensure that our referral systems become a reality and standardised.
“In the cities, we want our patients’ entry point to be the clinics before they are referred,” Moyo said.
He added that government is aiming at establishing district hospitals in towns so the bigger health institutions including Bulawayo’s Mpilo and Parirenyatwa only deal with chronic illnesses.
“We want to come up with district hospitals in our towns. In Harare we are earmarking at least four district hospitals, Bulawayo will not be left out and all other small towns.
“So we want to make sure that our system is solid and has a good referral system starting at the village level where we want to ensure that we have village health posts which are not manned just by the village health worker but by professionals of the range of primary care nurses and registered general nurses,” the Health Minister said.
Moyo added: “If they can’t handle it at that level, refer to the district level where they will be at least four (4) specialists.
“If they feel that they cannot handle the case they refer it to the provincial where we will have all the various medical departments and the process will continue until tertiary level.”
Zimbabwe’s health delivery system has suffered years of neglect and most senior leaders in the country now seek treatment outside the country while the rest of the population has to contend with local institutions that have neither medicine nor equipment to handle the most basic operations.