‘Clinics should be open 24/7’

A BULAWAYO resident and activist has petitioned the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to operate its clinics 24 hours daily to provide emergency healthcare services to underprivileged members of society.

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

Khumbulani Maphosa, in his petition dated November 30 and addressed to Bulawayo mayor, Martin Moyo, town clerk, Christopher Dube and other BCC health professionals argued clinics should be open 24 hours daily to provide emergency healthcare services.

Maphosa said closing the clinics at 3pm denies the public access to emergency healthcare services, adding it is an assault on the right to health and a violation of section 76(2) of the Constitution.

“Considering the centrality of clinics to human life and right to life of the people, who are the cause of the existence of a service delivery institution like the BCC, I propose that (a) all Bulawayo clinics operate with full staff complement up to 5pm and remain open with lean staff (skeleton staff of two/three nurses or one nurse and two nurse aides) up to the next morning (24 hours and seven days a week), where they will be attending to emergency services only,” he said in his petition.

“On the issue of viability — I humbly submit that the mushrooming of expensive privately-owned overnight/24hr clinics in the city is testimony of the high numbers of people needing emergency care at night.”

Moyo and the town clerk were not reachable for comment at the time of going to print.

Maphosa, however, argued access to healthcare anytime of the day is a basic and fundamental human right.

“As a basic and fundamental human right, the elimination of the right to health is tantamount to the elimination of the inalienable right to life, which is enshrined in the [United Nations] Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 3), the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Article 4), and the Constitution of Zimbabwe (Section 48).

“On the issue of resources — I humbly submit that the local authority can easily get funding for this venture through several fundraising models that include donor partnership funding, partnership with residents, utilising set ratios from the community retention scheme, among others,” he added.

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