Bulawayo clinics face challenges

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THE Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association (Bpra) has urged the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to equip its clinics to meet modern health standards amid reports that Magwegwe and Cowdray Park residents have to travel to Luveve Clinic for treatment.

CHIEF REPORTER

Bpra said it had received complaints from residents that the Magwegwe Clinic was ill-equipped and had no medication.

“Residents in Magwegwe (Ward 29) and Cowdray Park (Ward 28) are complaining of health services. They say their clinics are under-staffed and ill-equipped and have no medication,” said Bpra information officer Zibusiso Dube.

“As Bulawayo residents, we believe that the local authority is failing in its mandate to provide adequate health services in the city. This is more appalling as it is a violation of the new Constitution that says in Section (76) that every citizen of Zimbabwe has the right to health care.

“We now fear that Luveve Clinic may be overwhelmed by large numbers of patients seeking treatment. It is bound to suffer through long queues, slow service, medication running out and health personnel getting exhausted, thus becoming prone to errors,” he said.

Council requires a full staff complement of about 353 nurses in all its health facilities.

It sought permission from the Local Government ministry to recruit more staff in the health department after it issued a directive to freeze any form of recruitment.

“Council should hire more personnel, including nurses and doctors for its clinics,” Dube said.

“Efforts should also be made to equip clinics to ensure that they meet modern standards for health facilities.

“That’s one challenge (recruitment freeze). That is why we have always argued that the Local Government minister’s powers over local authorities should be reduced. He is too divorced from our reality to be able to make decisions that will advance the good of the city.

“Hence we have advocated for devolution of power and amendment of the Local Government Act.”

The local authority has 21 clinics mostly in the high-density areas.