via Harare Hospital runs out of admission space Sunday, 22 December 2013 by Faith Mhandu and Sharon Kavhu Sunday Mail
Scores of seriously ill patients are being turned away from Harare Central Hospital as the referral health institution has reached its limit on admissions, raising fears it may not cope with festive season accidents.
The hospital has over the past few months been inundated with patients from different parts of the country on account of its comparatively low consultation and admission fees. Consultation fee is US$12.
This has pushed up the number of those being admitted with serious ailments, resulting in scores of other patients being treated and sent back home.
Harare Central Hospital clinical director Mr George Vera last week said reinforcing the country’s referral system would solve the problem. He said stakeholders would meet early next year to consider the matter. “Our hospital is full to capacity. The situation is really bad, we are unable to admit seriously ill patients who are thronging the hospital from all parts of the country since we do not turn patients away even if they do not have money.
“The hospital has 1 200 beds inclusive of maternal, paediatric, psychiatric and medicinal patients’ beds. All these are occupied to the extent that we do not have room for casualities in the event of an accident this festive season.”
When The Sunday Mail visited the hospital on Wednesday and Thursday, patients who qualify for admission filled the observation room where they were given drugs.
Some patients were lying on the parking lot tarmac after being treated and sent back home. Mrs Gugulethu Gwishiri , a resident of Harare’s Budiriro suburb, who had accompanied her mother-in-law who had suffered a severe stroke, said: “Her condition is bad. She is receiving treatment on a wheelchair in the observations room. After the treatment, we will take her back home.
This has been the routine for days now.” Another patient, who was said to have a huge blood clot in the hip, could also not be admitted.
Her brother, Mr Sydney Dhewa, said she required two drugs, which cost US$8, an amount the family failed to raise.