Byo residents want 24 hr clinics
BULAWAYO residents have petitioned the city council to open municipality clinics 24 hours every day.
At the moment council clinics operate from 7:30AM to 4PM between Monday to Friday with only the maternity department operating 24 hours a day and through the weekend.
According to the latest council report, the local authority noted that there were challenges in granting residents’ wishes.
“There is severe staff shortage, undermined by limited financing of human resources base and labour related challenges that make it difficult to further stretch working conditions and open municipal clinics 24 hours a day seven days a week. However, engagement of central government, community leaders and partners is ongoing to improve and optimise service delivery in a sustainable manner,” reads the report.
The council revealed that due to a Government freeze on hiring, the council clinics were operating with skeletal staff.
The local authority revealed that council clinics have a staff complement of 164 nurses instead of the required 313.
Debating the subject in the full council meeting on Wednesday, councillors expressed mixed feelings over the residents’ petition.
Ward 4 councillor Silas Chigora said the municipality at the moment cannot afford to operate its clinics round the clock.
Clr Chigora said residents have previously complained about poor services at council clinics due to staff shortages. Councillors that include Mlandu Ncube, Charles Moyo and Rodney Jele said the petition raised serious concerns.
The councillors said council should first engage the petitioners and explain some of its challengers before dismissing them.
Bulawayo Mayor Alderman Martin Moyo concurred that council should meet the petitioners.
Meanwhile, Ald Moyo bemoaned traffic chaos in the city centre revealing that a municipality employee was run over by a car as the driver fled from having the vehicle impounded.—@ nqotshili