Rights doctors warn against politicisation of health

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Politicians are taking advantage of scare medical facilities and drugs to abuse desperate citizens, the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) has said.

ZADHR urged the public, the Medical and Dental Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe (MDPCZ) and the Ministry of Health to be on the look-out for what it called “unethical practices” singling out Cyber Security Minister Supa Mandiwanzira as a possible culprit.

“ZADHR also advises medical doctors and other health professionals from being used to attend political rallies under the guise of medical outreaches and be used to sway the electorate’s political choices.

“The Hippocratic Oath and the ethical code of conduct in Zimbabwe does not permit the provision of health care to be selective and partisan or for medical professionals to use the trust endowed in them by their patients as a political bait,” the group said warning it might be forced to take legal action.

ZADHR said the “so called medical outreach campaigns” are using medical interns and medical students who are not allowed to consult patients without supervision and “are normally paid small incentives to do these sad acts.”

“The doctors are also made to see thousands of patients in a few hours compromising quality of care received by patients.

“At times patients are seen in open spaces, violating their privacy and there is poor documentation leading to complex health repercussions,” ZADHR said.

Mandiwanzira, ZADHR said, is planning one such clandestine program in his constituency of Nyanga South.

“ZADHR will urgently notify the MDPCZ of the political medical outreach being planned by the Nyanga South MP, Supa Mandiwanzira on 23 to 25 March in Nyanga,” added that statement.

“ZADHR condemns the politicization of health care and urgently advises the said politician to ensure ethical medical practices take priority than political expediency.”

Human rights activists and opposition parties have accused the ruling Zanu PF party of politicizing such things as food aid. Opposition supporter are reportedly being denied food hand-outs after being singled out in particular by traditional leaders linked to Zanu PF.