Parirenyatwa Hospital in Crisis: Free User Policy Worsens Brain Drain and Equipment Shortages

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HARARE – Parirenyatwa Hospital, Zimbabwe’s largest referral center, is facing a severe crisis due to a combination of factors, including a crippling free user policy, massive brain drain, and obsolete medical equipment.

According to hospital authorities, the free medication policy for selected exempted groups has exacerbated the poor service delivery, leading to a shortage of 368 specialists, including gynaecologists, pathologists, oncologists, and palliative care professionals.

The hospital’s radiotherapy machines have been out of order for over two years, and the radiology and imaging services are non-existent. Chemotherapy medicines, surgical anaesthetic equipment, and sundries are also in short supply, with most available equipment being obsolete.

Acting Chief Executive Officer, Tsitsi Magure, revealed that the hospital has been forced to reduce dialysis sessions for chronic patients due to the unavailability of functional machines. 

Despite a tender being issued two years ago, the ministry of health has yet to provide replacement machines.

The situation is dire, with hospital officials expressing frustration at the inability to provide adequate care due to the severity of the challenges. 

The Parliamentary Health Committee recently visited the hospital, highlighting the need for urgent intervention to address the crisis.

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