via Why seek treatment abroad, asks Msipa 2 August 2014
ZANU PF politburo member and former Midlands governor, Cephas Msipa, has urged Zimbabweans to utilise local health facilities and desist from travelling overseas to seek medical care.
Whether or not Msipa, described by Health Minister David Parirenyatwa as “feareless”, had President Robert Mugabe in mind remains unclear.
But the 90-year-old Zanu PF leader has attracted criticism for wasting desperately short resources on regular trips to get medical attention in far-away Singapore, even for routine services such as check-ups.
Revealing he has refused calls by Zanu PF colleagues to seek treatment abroad, Msipa said Zimbabweans should have confidence in their own health facilities because there are manned by competent medical professionals.
“Do we really have to go outside the country for treatment? We should be proud of our own health care services,” he said during the official handover ceremony of a new US$1 million casualty ward at Gweru Provincial Hospital on Thursday. The ward was built with funds donated by Anglo Platinum Unki mine.
“Our doctors and nurses are capable and compete well with other health professionals in other countries. There is no need for people to go to India and other countries to seek medical attention because our own practitioners are equally competent.”
The former Midlands governor who is suffering from an undisclosed ailment said colleagues and friends had advised him to go to India for treatment but vowed he will never go outside the country to seek medical care.
“Some people always say go to India for treatment but I have always refused,” he said.
“I have sought treatment at our local hospitals in Harare where I have received tremendous reception and medical care as well as attended to by various specialists.”
Speaking at the same occasion, Health and Child Welfare Minister David Parirenyatwa described Msipa as a fearless person who always speaks his mind.
“VaMsipa is one of the few people who is free to say out things which most of us will not be able to say in Zanu PF politburo meetings,” said Parirenyatwa.
“At times there are sensitive issues which we feel should not be discussed in the politburo meeting but vaMsipa always raises these issues when everyone will be afraid to talk about them.”
Senior Zanu PF officials including Mugabe have been shunning local health facilities, preferring to seek medical care in countries such as India, South Africa, Malaysia and the United Kingdom.
Mugabe has routinely travelled to Singapore for medical treatment – even for minor procedures such as eye check-ups.
Since December last year, the veteran leader has travelled three times to the Southeast Asian country and, during his last visit in May, he was filmed entering a top private hospital with a cancer unit.
Aides however dismiss media reports he Mugabe is battling advanced cancer.