The Chron­i­cle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

BU­L­AWAYO, Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 6, 1991 — A Bu­l­awayo man who was struck with an axe on Mon­day was de­nied im­me­di­ate med­i­cal treat­ment at Mpilo Cen­tral Hospi­tal be­cause he could not prove he was un­em­ployed.

The man, Lucky Mkhandla, of Lower Range­more said he was axed dur­ing a dis­pute and was taken to Mpilo Cen­tral Hospi­tal where he was turned away be­cause he could not pay $27 re­quired for x-ray.

How­ever, the med­i­cal su­per­in­ten­dent of the hospi­tal, Dr Naboth Chaibva, said the grav­ity and se­ri­ous­ness of each pa­tient’s case was weighed and a de­ci­sion was made ac­cord­ingly.

“The man you re­fer to was sent away ob­vi­ously be­cause af­ter as­sess­ment, his case was not con­sid­ered an emer­gency”, said Dr Chaibva.

“We at­tend to all emer­gency cases, and if for ex­am­ple, a pa­tient comes to us un­con­scious, we can not ask him or her whether she can af­ford to pay or not”.

Dr Chaibva said the Min­istry of Health made it clear that it was not the duty of health officers to de­cide who should pay or not.

He said that the onus was on the pa­tients to prove that they earned less than $120 per month to get free treat­ment. In cases where ar­range­ments had been made for pa­tients to pay later, he said most of them de­faulted and the min­istry was owed thou­sands of dol­lars in out­stand­ing med­i­cal bills, which had to be col­lected from such peo­ple.

When con­tacted for com­ment, the Min­is­ter for Health, Dr Timothy Stamps, said the Min­istry of Jus­tice, Le­gal and Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs should also strike an un­der­stand­ing with ca­su­alty de­part­ments at hospi­tals.

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