Makone clarifies story on Tsvangirai’s hospital bill

via Makone clarifies story on Tsvangirai’s hospital bill | SW Radio Africa by Tichaona Sibanda on Thursday, May 29, 2014

The MDC-T’s acting treasurer-general, Theresa Makone, has labelled state media reports that claimed Morgan Tsvangirai fled a hospital without paying his bill as inaccurate and malicious.

The MDC-T leader was admitted to hospital on Monday after he became unwell. Party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora disclosed on Thursday that the former trade unionist was suffering from flu and fever.

Both the print and electronic state media reported on Thursday that Morgan Tsvangirai sneaked out of the Trauma centre in Avondale without settling his bill. It’s been alleged that the institution made a report to the Avondale police station, a move that has infuriated the MDC-T.

However Makone, who personally paid the bill three hours after Tsvangirai was discharged, said she phoned the Trauma centre after she was informed of their leader’s imminent release from hospital.

‘In fact, he was supposed to be released on Thursday, but doctors decided he was fine to go home on Wednesday. I was informed of the developments and as normal procedure, being the acting treasurer, I phoned the hospital and told them I was coming to settle his bill.

‘I don’t live in Harare, I’m based in Domboshawa, so after I made an arrangement with the hospital, I had to prepare myself, first by bathing and having breakfast before I made my way to the Trauma centre and settled the bill,’ Makone said.

The former co-Home Affairs Minister in the inclusive government questioned the hospital’s professionalism in handling the case, accusing the administration of unethical practice.

‘So where is the patient- hospital confidentiality? I would have expected a professional organisation to follow him home if they thought he had fled the hospital. They have all his personal details, including where he lives and how to contact him,’ explained Makone.

The acting treasurer said the opposition leader was actually escorted from his ward right down to his waiting vehicle by senior staff at the Trauma centre.

Makone claimed they have been informed that a staffer at the centre, a matron who works in a different ward from where Tsvangirai was admitted, took matters into his own hands and reported the issue to the police. Now the party wants that staffer investigated for acting outside hospital-patient confidentiality guidelines.

‘If they say he fled or run away, why was he escorted from his wing to his car? He was actually accompanied to his vehicle by the head of security at the centre, the matron of the wing he was staying in, as well as the floor sister in charge who cleared him. They actually took him through the back door, how else could he have known there was a separate route that leads to the car park? Asked Makone.

She said the whole story was aimed at causing maximum embarrassment to Tsvangirai, but expressed satisfaction that it has also exposed the system for what it is.

‘Instead of us feeling embarrassed, it has exposed how ZANU PF and its machinery view Tsvangirai as a major threat. This is the same person Robert Mugabe and his party claimed was dead and buried after the elections. But their fixation with him tells us they are having sleepless nights because he remains their only serious threat to their corrupt and dictatorial rule,’ Makone added.

A statement from the information department of the party said unlike other political leaders who fly out to up-market hospitals outside the country for medical treatment, at the taxpayer’s expense, their leader exhibited faith in local medical expertise and health facilities.

‘Our doctors and other civil servants are working under very difficult circumstances but President Tsvangirai has retained his faith in their ability to discharge of their duties,’ said the statement signed by Luke Tamborinyoka, Tsvangirai’s spokesman.



  • comment-avatar
    Angela Wigmore 8 years ago

    Another pathetic attempt to undermine Mr Tsvangirai!! It is commendable that he shows faith in local hospital facilities, unlike Mugabe. How could anyone believe he tried to evade paying his fees? I hate being an exile from my homeland but there are times when I am glad I am.

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      Tanzania Gwaruka 8 years ago

      The issue is Tsvangirai left the institution without payment of the services he benefitted from. Like all citizens he needs to pay before he leaves. As a leader he needs to lead by example. Can you imagine a treating institution having to follow patients home for payment of its services? What you proffer is largely hearsay, and majority of it obviously dumb. Leadership, Leadership, Leadership is all the country needs!

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        So so never 8 years ago

        Who can afford to pay hospitals please tell me. Majority of Zimbabweans cannot pay hospital as they are so expensive

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        maita 8 years ago

        Do you come from Tanzania or Zimbabwe. Why is parirenyatwa and Harare Hospitals engaging debt collectors? They are shamless liars and very childish. Problem Zimbabwe has been ruled by Village headmen mentality from 1980, and we behave like boys ku mombe kwataisvotesana as if that builds a country. It is time we mature, it is not about age but about being mature unfortunately I looked around and I have seen none.

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        but the writer has clarified that former minister Theresa Makone was on her way to settling the bill so their was no need for Tsvangirai to stay put. After all he is a well known figure who in no way can evade payment of $2600 bill, hey use common sense mhani!!!

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    zanupf fear me 8 years ago

    Parirenyatwa is free !!!!

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      Please advise the commander in chief, that he can be availed of free medical service at the world class Pari’s.

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    The fact still remains, Tsvangirai did not settle his medical bills before leaving the hospital where he was admitted for three days.

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    Davy Mufirakureva 8 years ago

    Vanovengereyi mwana wavaridzi kudararo. They thrive on character assassination.

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    Insider 8 years ago

    In view of the fact that it is known that the MDC is totally broke and the fact that Theresa M. has had very “close links” with the CIO for years, as has her husband, maybe they used CIO funds to pay the bill!! Would that not be an interesting scenario! Whilst MT continues to surround himself with people of very dubious repute he will never regain the respect he had previously.

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    There is a gross breach of etiquette here done so hurriedly solely to tarnish Tsvangirai’s image. But this concoction does not work. Tsvangirai was not admitted to hospital on the basis of a routine check up but on any emergency basis. In a routine arrangement like that which Mugabe gets in Singapore the estimated costs are known well in advance and the expectation is that if the patient presents himself then he is aware of his obligation, albeit estimated. However, even in Mugabe’s routine case there is always the possibility of cost overruns arising from the unforeseen etc. Rarely though do hospitals and medical facilities vary their costs downwards after the routine procedure is done. This is the standard practice in any civilised institution, a credible hospital and a non politicised situation.
    Dare I mention here that even in this routine arrangement the hospital that is attending to the patient still runs the risk of failing to recover costs arising from overruns should the unexpected happen, which may be the case if the patient passes on during a procedure. Unless we are talking propaganda here then we expect that this is common sense, clear and without controversy.

    Whereas when one is attended by the hospital on an emergency basis it is presumed that, with the exception of the standard administrative fees that may include an initial consultation fee neither the doctor nor the patient is aware of the costs. In the event that the doctor decides to admit the patient then again the costs of such admission are only estimates varying perhaps in proportion to the diagnosis. Now, even discounting the possibility of a misdiagnosis once the attending doctor prescribes an admission then only on rare occasions does he state the length of that admission. The length of admission is out of the monitoring carried out by the doctor. In the case of Tsvangirai we are told he was admitted for further diagnosis, an issue that makes estimation of costs even more cumbersome if not impossible. Not knowing how it is done in far away hospitals of Singapore the practice in Zimbabwe is that the actual bill is only presented to patients about a month after the incident of overnight admission. In the case of longer periods of stay in hospital it could take up to about a month after the patient is discharged. This is not withstanding the fact that the hospital will have demanded an upfront deposit or other arrangement.

    There is no way of vaccinating against this risk of variation of costs unfortunately. In short there is no known hospital fee for admitted patients. Those who are on medical aid schemes know that the benefits are not without limits. Even those on medical insurance there are limits to the quantum of benefits. In countries where there is no ‘free’ medical facilities it follows that by admitting patients hospitals are accepting the risk of cost overruns, which they may or may not recover. The risk gets higher in the event of an adult patient passing on.

    So what is the beef with this Tsvangirai issue? Nothing except that it clearly demonstrates how Mugabe’s government and his henchmen have clearly subverted the very foundation of society and the functioning of its institutions for purposes of power retention.

    Further, it demonstrates how the government of Mugabe and his ever grovelling bunch of psychophants take people for granted. They destroy institutions that serve the people and now are laughing out very loud at the distress that the common citizens find themselves in. Through corruption of unprecedented levels institutions like PSMAS have lost credibility and those who for decades had secured their future health benefits through them are now out in the cold. So Mugabe’s government as represented by the government press, the Herald, who are the beneficiaries of the corruption laugh out the loudest. Not sure if Cuthbert Dube and Charamba were not even a board members of Zimpapers. but certainly Charamba is the secretary for ministry responsible for the Herald.

    Further still it demonstrates that the current government has no heart for the people at all but is preoccupied with embarrassing Tsvangirai. Who in this environment is able to make a saving, I ask, when salaries are less than the poverty datum line; there is an enduring liquidity crisis; and 90% unemployment among urban population and so on and so forth? Now we see where this drama is NOT much ado about nothing. Instead it is about laughing at the Zimbabwean citizen.

    It exposes the callousness of the regime in power. How could you 34 years after independence let a former Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe just walk away straight into penury like that? The whole world is watching and laughing at us because of this. Is that what every citizen should expect from you as a Government they can proudly call theirs? An uncaring government; one without compassion; one that celebrates the misery and suffering of its people! How could this possibly be?

    As a citizen of this country I know what this Prime Minister has done for my lot. I know what he has done for my children, my wife, my father, my relatives and fellow country men. In 2008 when the economy was in meltdown he surprised me everyone by humbling himself in compassion with the common citizen and accepted to be non executive Prime Minister notwithstanding the fact that he had convincingly won the first round of elections in March of the same year. The run off that followed we know what happened that is was a violent one and was condemned by all and sundry, except of course those who stood to benefit from the wanton destabilization from this despicable conduct.

    Out of Tsvangirai’s actions in a short time thereafter the hospitals were functioning again. The schools were open again. Food was on the shelves again. Dare I say it was a short four year period that too good to last. That was in spite of the sanctions mantra. Yes, the targeted sanctions remained in force. Now that that period is behind us and that only Mugabe and his wife remain on the EU sanctions list, diamonds are being sold at auctions of our choice etc hope has deserted the country once more again and despondency has gripped the nation in the wake of Zanupf henchmen proceeding in a frenzy of full scale looting.

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      maita 8 years ago

      GM hey how I wish we had a few like you in the country. This was a good piece to read. They destroy the economy and laugh at us as we turn streets into vending sites vachifunga kuti varikunyadza Tsvangirayi. Stooping this low is very idiotic if I can say this and for the Herald to continue with the story is an embarassment to the juornalistic profession. Anyway vachabatsirwa kumuwanzira nana Tendai Biti manje manje. But the nice thing is we will all soon die whether une mansion, unorapwa kuma best hospitals or unotadza kubhadhara ma bills but when dead you are dead.Zvipoko ndizvo tichatya zvodzoka kumazidzimba amunovaka ne loot ayo asi musingagaremo.

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    Hapana asingzive kuti Jonathen is behind all this uneducated acts. The nation should see where the country is going with this long head zimcare of Zanu pf. Also be warned that Jonono is destroying ZPF party thorugh such silly and basic journalism.

    Tsvangirai may or may not rule this country, but one thing for sure is that Tsvangirai is the only one that the people of Zimabwe have chosen and is thier Country President.This truth canot be erased by what Jonathan is doing no matter what.

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    Morris 8 years ago

    I took my wife in for medical attention in Medi Clinic here in SA and I paid whatever they could calculate that day. We left and a month later they sent me a bill which I went on to settle. They never said my wife ran away from her bills! May it is new rules back home that were created in my ten year absence!

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    Roving Ambassador 8 years ago

    Well said, I might not agree with Tsvangirai’ s politics ,but this is childish. You can leave hospital and the billing can be done a month later.
    ZANU is sick.

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    el calbrito 8 years ago

    In Zimbabwe you either pay upfront
    or before you leave the hospital. We have read of people who couldn’t be treated because they couldnt pay in advance. Why didn’t Tsvangirai ask his aides to bring money when they came to collect him. If he can pay £300,000 for Locadia why not pay a small bill for his health. Priorities in life differ.

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    Isu Zvedu 8 years ago

    After GM’s well articulated opinion and fact, this story left me very worried and wondering if Zanu PF has not employed murder nurses to finish off opposition members if they fall sick. This story is reason why I fear for opposition members who happen to check in these zanoid infested institutions. If a zanoid employee can have access to the media and cause headlines about petty issues like these, one wonders how we can have faith with these nurses when they insert a needle in your behind. I strongly urge opposition leaders to think twice before they fall too sick to seek emergency help from the very people who can stoop so low as to report and write stories like this one.

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    Reuben 8 years ago

    Instead of this drivel, remind Robert that he can get free medical attention at all our referral hospitals if he has his national ID.