Ingutsheni experiences increase in relapsing patients
INGUTSHENI Central Hospital in Bulawayo has recorded an increase in relapsing patients who have been readmitted due to failure to access drugs among other reasons.
Presenting an overview of the mental health institution yesterday to the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr David Parirenyatwa, the board chairperson, Mrs Sandra Gumbo, said the number of re-admissions was more than new admissions.
“We have been failing to get our allocation from Treasury to procure medication for our patients. Most of them run out of medication and relapse and it increases our burden as a hospital,” said Mrs Gumbo.
“Of the $900, 000 we were allocated, we have only received $70 000 and that was not enough to purchase the medication we need for an average of 600 patients we have. If we got at least half of that allocation, we would have achieved a lot of things.”
Ingutsheni statistics show that a total of 185 re-admissions were recorded for the first quarter of this year compared to 121 new admissions for the same period.
Minister Parirenyatwa said Treasury should prioritise Ingutsheni as it was a special hospital.
“We commend efforts put by the staff to maintain order in this hospital despite challenges they are facing. Ingutsheni must always have money to cater for their needs and they must be supported all the time,” he said.
Staff at the hospital said last week two nurses were beaten up by patients who are not being given sedative drugs.
“There are no drugs to sedate the mentally ill patients at the hospital. Matrons are forcing nurses to work under these conditions and threatening to dismiss them if they don’t comply.
“Last week two nurses were beaten up by violent patients and the matter was swept under the carpet. The limited tranquilisers that are available have expired but they are still being administered on patients yet they don’t have any effect,” said a source.
Ingutsheni Central Hospital does not charge patients for its services and the institution depends entirely on the government’s budgetary allocation for its recurrent expenditure and capital projects.
Reports of the drug shortages emerged as a patient at the hospital reportedly killed herself by covering her head with a plastic bag after a doctor had refused to discharge her. — @ thamamoe