AN OFFICIAL from Bulawayo’s Ingutsheni Central Hospital has revealed that the hospital is struggling to cope and in dire need of financial assistance.
Report by Pamela Mhlanga
Ingutsheni operations director Nyasha Chibvongozde said the institution was facing serious financial problems, which had left it stranded and had led to the hospital running around the past year looking for donors to lend a helping hand.
“We are struggling as an institution and we have only been relying on the meagre central government budget and donations from organisations that sometimes chip in to help,” he told stakeholders while receiving a donation from Bellevue Spar on Saturday.
Chibvongodze said the 720-bed mental asylum, established in 1908, had huge patient wards and a high number of in-patients, which were difficult to maintain due to financial constraints.
“So far we have a high number of 500 to 550 in-patients compared to other government hospitals like Mpilo Central Hospital and United Bulawayo Hospitals,” he said. “Our number of patients is higher and all patients do not pay anything for our services.”
The hospital official said some patients stayed in the hospital until they aged and died.
“All these patients require resources such as adequate food, medical treatment, clothing and our dilemma is that the money from the government is just not enough,” he said.
Chibvongodze also said the hospital buildings were very old and were in a dilapidated state, since the institution was more than 100 years old, but there were no resources to rehabilitate it.
“The hospital structures have lacked maintenance all these years due to lack of resource although, we have a wish to spruce up the place,” he said.
Chibvongodze said the donation from Bellevue Spar came as a relief to the hospital.
The supermarket’s owner, Raj Modi, donated groceries worth $15 000 and 300 blankets to the hospital. Modi said Spar, which was one of the hospital’s suppliers, had been touched by the institution’s financial plight.
“The hospital had been struggling to pay for our services and had explained the financial problem it was going through, so we saw it fit to help in any possible way we could,” he added.