City fathers bemoan govt lack of budgetary support for clinics

BULAWAYO city fathers have accused the central government of failing to provide budgetary support to council-run clinics, leading to the deterioration in the quality of health services in the city.

By NQOBANI NDLOVU

The Bulawayo City Council operates 19 clinics and one infectious disease hospital in Thorngrove suburb against a target of 25.

The council is also leasing out its Mahatshula and Lobengula clinics owing to staff shortages.

According to a latest council report, the lands and planning committee also bemoans the failure of the government to re-open Ekusileni Medical Centre, which was earmarked as one of the city’s COVID-19 centres.

“The failure to open Ekusileni Hospital since its commission in 2004 is disadvantaging the Bulawayo community in terms of health service provision,” the council report read in part.

The institution, a brain child of the late Father Zimbabwe, Joshua Nkomo, has been lying derelict since 2004 after it was shut down shortly after opening its doors.

Nkomo campaigned for the construction of the specialist hospital to avoid the indignity of Zimbabweans travelling to far away countries for treatment.

Nkomo had travelled as far as Egypt to seek medical attention.

Many dates have been given for the re-opening of the medical facility, with government now saying that it would be turned into a medical training centre.

“There has been a decline in health service provision over the past 10 years due to declining financial commitment for government and the inability of local authority resources to meet growing need. Health services have also suffered from lack of appropriate staff and high staff turnover,” the report adds.

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