MPILO Central Hospital in Bulawayo has given patients owing the health institution 14 days to pay up or risk being handed over to debt collectors.
Report by Nduduzo Tshuma Staff Reporter
Many debtors received the letters from the hospital on Monday and upon visiting the health institution were told that they were required to pay half of the amount owed or risk having debt collectors attach their property.
One of the letters shown to NewsDay reads: “This is the last and final reminder for your overdue account.
“Please make arrangements to settle this . . . within 14 days at Mpilo accounts department failure to which you will be handed over to debt collectors without further communication.”
“I owe the hospital close to $1 000 and when I visited the offices with the letter, I was told that I was required to pay $500 immediately and they would not accept anything less,” said one of the affected debtors.
“When I told them that I could not raise such an amount of money in a short space of time, they said debt collectors would soon be visiting my house to attach my property.
“They said the debt collectors were already in Luveve and would be visiting my house soon.”
Bulawayo Residents’ Association chairman Winos Dube yesterday said he was not aware of the development.
But he said his organisation would engage the hospital so that residents would be allowed to pay the little they have towards settling their respective debts.
“We once held a meeting with the hospital management and they brought to our attention that they were owed huge sums of money,” he said.
“I want to appeal to those who owe the hospital to visit the institution so that they agree on a payment plan.”
Contacted for comment, Mpilo Central Hospital chief executive officer Lawrence Mantiziba denied reports that residents were being turned away for not having half of the amounts owed.
“Anyone can come and make a payment plan,” he said.
“That is not true, if there are people who have been barred from paying, they should come to my office, the public relations and accountant’s offices.
“We encourage them to come and pay so that we buy supplies for the better running of the hospital because if they do not, we won’t be able to operate.”