X-ray film shortage hits hospital

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SHORTAGE of X-ray films has hit Victoria Falls Hospital, which offers free facilities, leaving residents stranded, as they have to resort to expensive services offered by private medical institutions.

Richard Muponde
Senior Reporter

The shortage has mainly affected films used to conduct X-rays on children, forcing the hospital staff to refer patients to private facilities in the resort town’s central business district, which charge amounts ranging from $25 to $30 per patient.

Reports are that some patients, who can not afford fees charged by private entities return to their homes leaving everything to fate.

Some affected patients, who spoke to Southern Eye, confirmed their dilemma.

“It’s difficult for us,” a patient from Chinotimba suburb said, asking not to be named.

“Most of us are unemployed that’s why we go to the hospital for free X-rays.

“To make matters worse, the hospital staff abuse us, accusing us of flocking to the hospital because we want free services.

“I think it’s deliberate for them not to order those films.”

Another resident added: “They just don’t care.

“What they are good at is to refer you to private doctors.

“I didn’t know if they are benefiting anything by giving business to private doctors at the expense of residents.”

Efforts to get a comment from hospital authorities were fruitless yesterday.

Contacted for comment Victoria Falls Residents’ Association chairperson, Morgan Gaza Dube said he was not aware of the issue, but denounced the harassment of patients by staff.

“The unfortunate thing is that the issue has not been brought to our attention,” he said.

“If it had been brought up, we would have walked into the institution and spoken to authorities.”