Masvingo General Hospital matron, Norma Mpande, has revealed that the provincial hospital was severely understaffed and lacks critical specialists and machines, a situation she said compromised service delivery in the province.
By Tatenda Chitagu
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of 69 student nurses last Friday, Mpande said the hospital had now resorted to referring critically ill patients to other health centres for specialist services like renal dialysis.
“There were challenges which came with their training, but the hospital managed to create a conducive environment for their learning,” she said.
“Masvingo General Hospital needs more specialists in surgery, paediatric, anaesthesia and orthopaedics.”
The hospital has 11 government medical officers, one specialist obstetric, one gynaecologist and one general surgeon.
The institution’s CT scan and renal dialysis machines, acquired several years ago, are yet to be assembled, Mpande
She said after government unfroze nursing posts, 20 nurses came to the institution, bringing the nursing staffing compliment to 208, up from 188.
“This has gone a long way in increasing the hospital staff establishment,” Mpande said.
“We will lobby for the creation of new posts such as the relief matron, night superintendent post, matron in the maternity department so as to intensify supervision of students in the service areas.”
Guest of honour, Winstone Chitando, the executive chairperson of Mimosa Mining Company, said while nurses worked under hard conditions due to a shortage of resources, they should be caring to patients.
“You should go into the world as nurses who truly care, not as those who are solely in it for the money, but as those whose sense of caring is saturated with love, selfishness and compassion,” he said.
“At times, nurses work under unbearable conditions and are stressed due to shortages of resources. My question to you graduands is: Will you be proud to be nurses, who are going to be blamed yet work for many hours for little pay? Yours is a service to the people which requires humility.”
Chitando said there was need to improve the conditions at public hospitals since the bulk of the population was treated there.
Masvingo General Hospital caters for eight districts in the province.