THE financially-struggling Gweru Provincial Hospital yesterday gave its unpaid patients an eight-hour ultimatum to settle their bills or risk attachment of their properties as the public health institution seeks to recover over $500 000 owed in outstanding medical bills.
by Stephen Chadenga
Early last year, the Midlands provincial referral hospital engaged a private debt collector, Well Cash Debt Collectors, to recover outstanding amounts from patients who had left the hospital without paying.
The hospital has since sent text messages to patients with outstanding bills to pay up without further delay.
“Having seen that you do not want to enter into dialogue to resolve this issue, we have started a legal process which will see you lose your valuable property and other accessories,” the text message read.
“You are hereby warned that if you do not make frantic efforts to settle this debt within eight hours after receiving this letter you will be liable for costs and other expenses incurred in our efforts to recover the same.”
The hospital’s medical superintendent, Fabian Mashingaidze could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Most government health institutions are struggling to recover large sums of money owed by discharged patients, a situation that has paralysed service delivery as the cash squeeze has lead to serious shortages of drugs and other amenities.