Gweru Hospital flounders as patients fail to pay
ABOUT $1, 7 million owed to Gweru Provincial Hospital by patients and medical aid societies is crippling operations at the health institution.
The hospital’s medical superintendent, Dr Fabian Mashingaidze, told The Chronicle yesterday the hospital was struggling to procure essential medication for patients.
He said the debt has been ballooning over the past years because as a government institution, the hospital does not chase patients who do not have admission fees.
“Last year the debt was $1, 1 million. This year it has increased to about $1, 7 million. This is money owed to us by individual patients and those coming through the medical aid societies who accessed our services with promises of settling their medical bills later on.
“This is now resulting in us failing to replenish medical supplies and other equipment,” said Dr Mashingaidze.
“PSMAS owes us about $700 000 and we still accept their clients in the hope that they will settle their debt soon.”
In terms of drugs availability at the institution, Dr Mashingaidze said they had 41,5 percent of vital drugs, 29,3 percent of essential drugs and five percent of necessary drugs.
“Vital drugs are those that must be there always in case of emergency while essential drugs are not as critical as vital and necessary drugs are supposed to be there but if they are out of stock, there is no harm to the patient,” he said.
In the past, the hospital has engaged debt collectors albeit with little success as the government is against such a move.
The Minister of Health and Child Care Dr David Parirenyatwa has in the past discouraged health institutions from taking defaulting patients to debt collectors urging them to look at alternative ways of recovering their money. — @ patiemtsiwi.