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City operates with one ambulance

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Harare City Council has over the past few weeks been operating with only one ambulance for its clinics in the entire city, an official has revealed.

The director of health administration, Prosper Chonzi, said the city had three reliable ambulances but in the past week, it only had one ambulance serving all various clinics around the city.

Chonzi disclosed this to Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe during a consultative meeting with mayors from around the country.

The meeting discussed health issues and it emerged that revenue collected from council clinics and hospitals was sent to city treasury.

“The city treasurer in not sensitive to our plight,” Chonzi said.

“We are against remitting fees to treasury because at the end of the day, health would be competing with other departments for the money come budget time. We propose that the health department keeps its revenues for its own use.

“We have to retain all the money if we are to make any difference,” Chonzi said.

“In the last few weeks we have had just one ambulance servicing 12 council clinics in the suburbs.”
Harare council charges $50 for maternity fees.

Ruwa Town Board chairman Rabson Mushayavanhu told the DPM of an incident where a woman miscarried as he ferried her to Chitungwiza Central Hospital from Ruwa.

“We have no referral hospital in Ruwa so we go to Chitungwiza and there are many risks involved.”

Khupe said government was considering slashing fees for expecting women in all hospitals beginning next year and was negotiating with the Ministry of Finance to set aside funds for health grants and make health services free at local clinics.

“We want to eliminate fees completely at clinics and hospitals,” she said.

“We are talking to Finance minister Tendai Biti on that so that he can set aside funds.

“Giving birth should be for free,” Khupe said.

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