MPILO Central Hospital and the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) yesterday signed a pioneering memorandum of agreement with an Indian medical consultancy firm that would see specialist doctors being seconded to the health institution.
The agreement is aimed at transforming Mpilo Hospital into a world-class health facility that would be able to handle “most complex transplant surgeries”.
A team of top Indian doctors would be seconded to the hospital and the Nust Medical School.
Speaking during the signing on ceremony, Mpilo chief executive officer Lawrence Mantiziba said they were delighted with the partnership as “it would be the first of its kind joint venture with Indian hospitals in the whole of Southern Africa”.
“Under this arrangement, the three Indian Consortium Hospitals (Artemris, Fortis and Madanta) who operate under the flagship of Global Medi Consortiums shall provide to Mpilo Central Hospital a whole range of spectrum of specialist services from diagnostic to the most complex transplants.
“Furthermore, senior Indian doctors would be coming in as professors at Nust Medical School,” said Mantiziba.
Last year, officials from Mpilo and Nust travelled to India to assess the capabilities of the facilities at the Indian Consortium Hospitals.
Mantiziba said they would not have signed the agreement before assessing the facilities.
“The delegation noted with satisfaction that all the three Indian hospitals are centres of excellence in cancer treatment, research, cardiac surgery, transplants, medicine, including liver, kidney and bone marrow,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of Global Medi Consultants, Vikesh Khetarpal said they were keen to see Mpilo improve on its service delivery.
“We want to develop the medical facility to a point in which it was a long time ago.
“Mpilo was the leading hospital in the Southern Africa region.
“However, conditions deteriorated due to brain drain. It was the same in India, but we worked to reverse that,” Khetarpal
The signing of the agreement comes weeks before Mpilo holds a donor conference to lure investors to rehabilitate the institution.
The hospital was built in 1957 for a population of about 80 000 and is now unable to cope with the current Bulawayo population as well as referral patients from other surrounding health facilities.
The hospital needs at least $15 million for rehabilitation.
Funds raised during the donor conference would be channelled towards hospital infrastructure, plant and equipment rehabilitation.