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Patients suffer as doctors, nurses abscond from duty

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A LOCAL public health lobby group, Citizens Health Watch Trust (CHWT), has expressed concern over the deteriorating quality of service delivery at public hospitals and clinics.

SENIOR REPORTER

In an interview with NewsDay over the weekend, CWHT board member Fungisai Dube said survey reports coming from provincial monitors indicated that patients were not being attended to on time as doctors and nurses were absconding their duties.

“This is a painful and sad development when one considers that some patients spend between two and eight hours before seeing a doctor and in most instances no one at the hospital is prepared to inform them of the cause of the delays,” Dube said.

She added: “Our hospitals can become better places if they have service charters hanged in public places that explain at least what service one can expect and whom can they complain to if the service charter is not being obeyed.”

In the past, some public hospitals and private institutions used to have a notice board that gave information as to how many doctors or nurses were on duty at a specific time.

Dube said cancer patients were in the worst situation as those from southern provinces have to travel to Harare for chemotherapy.

“Patients from Bulawayo and other far-flung areas are forced to travel to Harare for chemotherapy. This means besides the medical costs, they now also have to foot their own travel and accommodation expenses,” Dube said.

CHWT also called for the government to lift the recruitment freeze on health professionals considering that the few staff available now used inadequate personnel as an excuse when they offer shoddy services.

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