BY RUVIMBO MUCHENJE
THE City of Harare has resolved to make one of its infectious diseases hospitals, Wilkins, a district hospital as the local clinics are understaffed and cannot cope with the large number of patients referred from central hospitals, where doctors are on strike, the council health services director has said.
In a post on his Facebook wall on Saturday, Prosper Chonzi, said the move was meant to manage numbers that have overwhelmed council clinics.
“What we are now thinking and moving into is to designate one of our two infectious diseases hospitals into a district hospital, we are thinking of Wilkins,” Chonzi said.
He said since government doctors downed tools beginning of September, patients have been referred to local clinics for treatment
“The past 60 days in which government doctors have withdrawn their services from central hospitals, like Parirenyatwa and Harare Hospital, saw all the patients who would ordinarily go to Harare Hospital or Parirenyatwa now being referred directly or indirectly to City of Harare,” he said.
Chonzi said the city would seek aid from the Health ministry to assist with funding for the project.
“It will be more expensive to operationalise and finance, but we are working closely with the Ministry of Health which will from its district hospital pool of funds then help us to sustain operations at Wilkins.”
The move will leave infectious diseases patients in Harare with only one treatment centre.
“Infectious diseases patients will be admitted at Beatrice Infectious Diseases Centre because we have a big hospital along Beatrice Road. So we will still cater for the infectious conditions as mandated to local authorities by the ministry,” Chonzi said.
He added that primary health care will turn over a new leaf as he pledged improvements will be made in the next five years.