BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
GOVERNMENT has ruled out the possibility of Gweru Provincial Hospital being upgraded to a central hospital anytime soon, saying it would have to undergo a massive facelift to qualify for the status.
The required upgrades include the construction of more theatre units and expansion of wards.
The 400-bed institution in November last year formally applied to the Health ministry to be upgraded to a central hospital following additions and improvements, including a fully-fledged renal and intensive care unit.
Most of the upgrades were done last year as the Health and Child Care ministry sought to use the provincial referral hospital as a COVID-19 centre.
Health and Child Care deputy minister John Mangwiro on Wednesday, however, ruled out the institution being turned into a central hospital saying the institution needed further upgrades.
He said there was need for construction of a theatre block with four theatres, 10-bed intensive care (ICU)unit, acquisition of a CT scan, laparoscopy and endoscopy equipment, among other requirements.
“We have a number of issues that need to be addressed before we accord it the status. The following are the problems that have been identified; Limited working space, especially theatres. Clinicians have to give each other operating schedules so that every speciality is accommodated in the two theatres,” Mangwiro told parliamentarians last week.
“Consultation rooms are limited such that issues of privacy and confidentiality are compromised due to the working space challenges. Three beds in ICU and four beds in the renal area are not able to cater for the growing number of patients,” he said.
“For ward space, currently in female surgical ward, we are mixing gynaecological with surgical patients, compromising infection. An increase in the number of medical personnel joining the institution has need for the expansion of accommodation for medical personnel within the institution.”
Mangwiro added that he would next week announce a timetable for the upgrading of the facility to attain central hospital status.
Meanwhile, the Health and Child Care ministry said the institution achieved a major feat when it performed a hip replacement surgery, a first of its kind to be performed at provincial hospital
The surgery was performed by orthopaedic surgeon Brian Paketh and his team with logistical support from medical superintendent Fabian Mashingaidze.
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