Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has leased out its Lobengula Clinic to private medical players after it had been lying idle due to a severe shortage of staff.
BCC director of health Zanele Hwalima confirmed the developments yesterday.
“At some point there was a private medical practitioner to whom we leased the clinic until the contract expired last year and the medical practitioner did not renew it,” said Hwalima.
“As of now, we are still leasing it, but there is no one occupying it as we are still waiting for someone to show interest.”
According to a recent council report, the matter has already been approved by the MDC-T-dominated council. Part of the report reads: “It would be recalled that council on August 13 2003 resolved that Lobengula Clinic be leased out to interested medical practitioners or institutions and that a selective tendering procedure be followed.”
At the height of the country’s economic meltdown in 2009, council leased out most of its clinics following a crippling drug and staff shortage.
Some of the clinics leased out to private players included Tshabalala, Pumula South, Lobengula and Mahatshula clinics.
Meanwhile, Population Services International has reportedly applied to use Lobengula Clinic for its male circumcision programme.
The local authority runs 19 clinics.