Zim hospitals in need of revival

Source: Zim hospitals in need of revival – DailyNews Live

16 August 2017

HARARE – Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa had to be airlifted to South
Africa last week to receive urgent medical assistance following suspected
food poisoning.

Mnangagwa fell ill in Gwanda, where he was attending President Robert
Mugabe’s sixth youth interface meeting. He initially received medical
attention at Claybank and Thornhill hospitals, before it was felt he
needed to be airlifted to South Africa to get the best medical care.

Mnangagwa is not the only Zimbabwean politician to seek sanctuary in
foreign hospitals. It is now standard practice for the elite in Zanu PF
and Mugabe’s government to spent the elusive greenbacks seeking medical
care in the region and offshore because they have no longer trust local

In the process, Zimbabwe is rendered poorer because this is money that
could have been spent locally to assuage a crippling foreign currency
crisis gripping the country’s economy.

Even members of the opposition parties, including MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai, have joined the bandwagon because the health delivery system
in Zimbabwe now resembles a death trap.

While the well-to-do in our midst are escaping the dire conditions in our
local hospitals, those who cannot afford these expensive medical trips
beyond the country’s borders – and they happen to be the majority of
Zimbabweans – are putting up with depressing conditions in our health
delivery system.

Several people have died even from treatable conditions because they
cannot access basic drugs, while others succumb to their sickness before
being attended to, having failed to raise the consultation fees.

Zimbabwe used to have arguably the best healthcare system on the continent
until something went terribly wrong in the early to mid 1990s.

A combination of populist policies, economic mismanagement, as well as
their intended and unintended consequences conspired to rob the health
sector of its shine. For many years, government has entertained the false
notion that it can give Zimbabweans access to public health at close to
next to nothing without following its generosity with structured
investments into the sector to keep up the standards. And when the sector
started buckling in, government has not accepted responsibility for its
poor policies.

The result has been the loss of skill to the Diaspora, the decline in
donor funding and the calamitous collapse in public health institutions.

It would be unfair to blame Tsvangirai and other members of the opposition
for seeking medical help outside the country’s borders because the
situation is not of their making, although Zanu PF often accuse them of
inviting sanctions – cited by Mugabe and his party as having triggered the
on-going economic crisis.

Having said that, the elite in Zanu PF must be ashamed for insulating
themselves from a crisis they have created, while exposing the millions of
ordinary Zimbabweans to terrible conditions in the health delivery sector.


  • comment-avatar

    Not to forget the best trained medics from doctors to nurses and all other functions of a hospital.
    Blaming so called sanctions is drivel and a lamb excuse. Rhodesia had full UN sanctions from 1965-80 but maintained and developed the healthcare system with not a cent of international aid to the highest of standards in the world be it clinics in the remote areas or govt hospitals in the towns.
    The malady of the problem is simple – any funding or aid was/is looted at source. Those not with a slice of the cake, steal anything they can lay their hands on.
    I am told from first hand experience of the conditions prevailing – appalling!
    As for the many medical staff and other expertise, they have long since packed their bags for new pastures regionally and overseas.
    Get sick in Zimbabwe and you might as well kiss your backside good bye….