‘Patients must bring own blankets, sleep on pot-holed floors’ – MP laments dire state of United Bulawayo Hospitals; Life is not perfect, says Minister in response

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By Staff Reporter

GOVERNMENT has been challenged to revamp the country’s referral hospitals as an legislator revealed that infrastructure at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) is in a shocking state of disrepair with patients forced to “sleep on pot-holed floors”.

Speaking in Parliament Tuesday, Bulawayo East legislator Ilos Nyoni said the biggest referral hospital in the Matebeleland region was in urgent need of infrastructural overhaul.

“My point of national interest is on the state of the maternity wings of most hospitals in Zimbabwe,” said Nyoni.

“I will zero in on the United Bulawayo Hospitals, UBH. I have had the opportunity to visit that part of the hospital and the state it is in is very sad.


“The infrastructure has dilapidated; the floors have potholes; in a hospital. The buildings are crowded; you will find expecting women being asked to sleep on the floor because the beds will be full. They end up being asked to bring their own blankets from home.”

Bulawayo East MP Ilos Nyoni

He continued; “We are also aware that during the process of labour a lot of blood is lost and most of the time the blood is not there.

“If the doctors prescribe two pints of blood, what will be available is what is given and in most cases, they will end up getting less than half of the blood that will be needed.

“It is my prayer therefore that the Ministry of Health looks at this issue with seriousness to ensure that there is improvement in this area.

“Perhaps also consider utilisation of Ekusileni Medical Centre which is currently under-utilised although it is said to be open.”

Parliament again discussed challenges in the country’s underfunded health sector Wednesday with MPs indicating ambulance services were demanding money for fuel from patients before they can attend to them.

Said MP Molly Mkandla; “My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care, what is the Government’s position on the Government ambulances?

“When they carry patients from rural areas to district hospitals after being referred, patients are asked to fuel the ambulances or pay a certain amount?

Opposition legislator Prince Dubeko Sibanda added; “… the issue that is facing the nation is that Government is not resourcing public hospitals.

“If my relative falls sick and they need to be transferred to another hospital, when the hospital has no fuel for the ambulance, it is the situation that forces me as a citizen to give fuel to the hospital so that my relative is attended to.

“Possibly the proper question to the Hon. Minister is; what is Government doing to ensure that hospitals are fully resourced to give adequate health services to the citizens?  Thank you Hon. Speaker.

Responding, cabinet minister Professor Amon Murwira said; “It is important to know that we are working very hard to have our people have access to good health and that includes logistics, which are ambulances.

“ … it is Government’s responsibility to resource hospitals … government is working on making sure that our hospitals are resourced in terms of logistics, medicines and personnel.

“We are not saying the situation is perfect but who says life is perfect. We are striving towards that perfection and this is what we are doing.”