Kwekwe nurses walk to work to save money

KWEKWE — Staff morale has reportedly hit rock bottom at Kwekwe General Hospital where nurses are allegedly reporting for duty late as they walk to work as a way to save their meagre salaries.

Nurses at Kwekwe General Hospital arrive at work late, tired, and take their time to attend to patients who queue for long hours.

Speaking at a nurses’ graduation ceremony last Friday, hospital medical superintendent Patricia Mapanda told delegates the low staff morale was taking its toll on patients, who she said, queued for long hours before being attended to.
“Your workers come to our hospital and spend long times in queues because our staff at the hospital are walking to work and arrive late and tired.

“They therefore fail to serve patients in time resulting in long queues. This affects production time at your companies and as a result the economy does not tick. We therefore encourage you to help us with transport,” said Mapanda.
The majority of nurses live in Mbizo suburb, about 5km from the hospital. The hospital used to provide transport for its staff, but the facility was stopped due to financial difficulties.

In her report on the state of the hospital, Mapanda said most of the equipment at the institution was old, while the hospital itself built in 1936, had last been renovated in the colonial era in 1978. She said the institution was no longer able to serve the city’s growing population.

“Rehabiltation has lagged behind in relation to human resources and equipment which cannot match the needs of the patients.

“Most experienced doctors and nurses have left for greener pastures. Some of you might be quick to blame them for lack of patriotism, but you should know that people need adequate salaries to sustain their families,” she said.

The hospital, which serves a population of over 200 000, has only four doctors and one dentist, none of whom are resident at the hospital.

Those admitted to hospital, at night or on weekends, have to wait until the following day to be attended to by a qualified doctor.

About 120 nurses graduated at the colourful ceremony held at Queens Sports Club in the town.

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