Senior doctors have partially downed tools saying they will be only dealing with emergencies until government addresses the dire situation in the country’s public hospitals.
The doctors are protesting the severe shortages of pharmaceutical drugs and equipment at public hospitals.
In a letter addressed to the Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals Group CEO from the Consultants of Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals (senior doctors), the medical practitioners said State hospitals were also grappling with lack of proper working equipment, causing the public hospitals health delivery system to diminish dismally.
“As you are aware Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals has been facing challenges since November 2018 with a prolonged industrial action.
“One of the major grievances which culminated into the industrial action was the persistent shortage of basic essential drugs, equipment and sundries.
“As consultants who were and are concerned with return to normalcy, we stepped in and persuaded the junior doctors to return to work in good faith that our parent ministry would improve the supply of the basic consumables,” the letter read.
Towards the end of last year doctors downed tools in protest to the critical shortage of drugs at the country’s hospitals and although promised to improve the situation, so far little has changed.
In their latest letter to their parent ministry, the doctors further stated that situation with regards to medical consumables and equipment is now even worse than it was in December 2018.
“This has continued to cause severe compromise in the safety and working conditions of staff and a reduced capacity to deliver services to patients.
“We feel that these compounding factors have compromised patient care, putting patients’ health and lives at risk at the very institution which is supposed to restore health and life.”
Currently, most surgical firms are, reportedly, operating solely on elective patients only twice a month.
The doctors also revealed that for January and February this year, they have operated less than 20 percent of the elective cases they operated in same period in 2018.
According to the doctors, for emergencies, the time taken before the patient goes to theatre is now unnecessarily too long since relatives have to privately source for the necessary supplies.
Coupled with this, patients with simple conditions like appendicitis and diabetic foot ulcers are going for days without the required antibiotics leading to unnecessary complications.
Health minister Obadiah Moyo, according to the senior doctors, was allegedly supposed to address the situation and give the way forward but is yet to.