Personnel, drug shortage cripples Masvingo hospital


PROVISION of medical services at Masvingo General Hospital, the province’s biggest referral centre, has reportedly been crippled by a serious shortage of health personnel and drugs.

Tatenda Chitagu

Provincial medical director in the Health and Child Care ministry Robert Mudyiradima said the problem was not only confined to Masvingo, but to all provincial hospitals in the country.

“Yes, we have staff shortages at Masvingo General Hospital,” he said.

“The situation is, however, the same generally everywhere in the country.”

Mudyiradima, however, said the situation could not be corrected now as there was a freeze on recruitment due to bloated civil service, with the Finance ministry indicating that it wants to cut the wage bill which presently accounts for close to 80% of revenue.

“The shortage is because of budgetary constraints, we would want more, but the Finance ministry has challenges.

“Only the provincial hospital is facing drug shortages because it does not have donor support.

“No clinic should run out of drugs because they have donor support.”

Masvingo General Hospital only has six doctors out of an ideal complement of 12.

Mudyiradima said the province had one gynaecologist, adding plans were afoot to engage a second one.

He said the increase in population size and emergence of new diseases had exerted excessive pressure on health delivery.