By Paidashe Mandivengerei
PARIRENYATWA Hospital, the largest referral medical centre in Zimbabwe, is still operating below its normal capacity despite the return of striking junior doctors to their workstations.
Junior doctors downed tools in September last year over paltry salaries and bad working conditions.
They were later joined by their senior colleagues who raised similar grievances.
However, while a significant number of junior resident medical officers at Parirenyatwa have resumed duties, medical specialists are only attending to critically ill patients and the rest are being turned away.
In a recent interview with NewZimbabwe.com, Parirenyatwa Hospital Head of Public Relations, Linos Dhire said the hospital was yet to offer more services beyond the emergency cover they are offering at the moment.
The central hospital is hoping to get more medical professionals to assist the situation when consultants employed by the University of Zimbabwe return to work.
“The junior doctors are back. Unfortunately, the senior level cover is still compromised and only covering emergencies,” said Dhire.
“The hospital is expecting to start offering services beyond the emergency cover which has been pertaining since November 2019. As the clinical director stated before, traditionally, during the festive season, all hospitals are on emergency cover as most personnel take their year-end breaks.
“This might have been normal for that period. However, the festive season is over and we should be attending to more than emergencies now.
“We are hopeful that there will be better consultant coverage since the university of Zimbabwe college of health sciences, where the bulk of our consultants come from, opened on the 6th of January.”
In a recent interview with this publication, senior doctors’ representatives said they would only offer meaningful service when government addresses their concerns.
The doctors are demanding that their salaries be pegged in US dollars and that the hospitals be re-equipped with new machinery while drugs for patients and other medical requirements are made available.