Home » Health » Hospital Facelift – Just What the Doc Ordered

When relatives accompany a sick person to public health facilities that include council clinics and Government hospitals in Harare, the first thing they usually notice is the state of the health institution.

The first red flags are usually in the toilets, bathrooms, old flooring, walls that need repainting, torn curtains and the state of beds including the linen. These have not gone unnoticed as many complaints have been raised.

Patients say the state of most public health facilities can easily push away people who have other options.

The poor just have to get used to it because they do not have much choice.

To make matters worse, some hospitals have never been renovated ever since the health institutions opened doors to the sick decades ago.

All these factors – nurses and doctors attitude included – contribute towards a patient’s welfare.

With little funding usually available for many public health institutions, sprucing up their look has never been a priority as procurement of drugs justifiably always comes first.

Most are in a rather sorry state.

In his 2015 National Budget speech, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said Government would continue focusing on increasing access and utilisation of quality primary health care and referral facilities, raising a little hope.

Council also recently announced its 2015 Budget showing commitment to improving the health sector.

Before the separate council and National Budget presentations, a number of health facilities, which include Harare Central Hospital and some clinics, had already started renovating in a bid to spruce up the image of the institutions.

This, hopefully, will result in better services.

More improvements are expected if some of the money to be availed through both the council and national budgets goes towards renovations..

According to City of Harare’s director for health, Dr Prosper Chonzi: “The renovations are meant to decongest central hospitals as after completion, the poly clinics will be offering some services that are available at hospitals such as Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals as well as Harare Central Hospital.”

Renovations to Edith Operman Clinic in Mbare, Mabvuku and Budiriro poly clinics have already started.

Once completed, the clinics would be able to attend to accident cases, caesarian sections and other minor operations.

With such new improvements patients will not have to travel from Mbare to get treated at hospitals such as Parirenyatwa.

Dr Chonzi said the council clinics would also be open 24 hours a day for the convenience of the people in the communities that they serve.

About eight to 12 doctors from Government hospitals who are on housemanship would be attached to council clinics as part of a partnership entered into by the Ministry of Health and Child Care and City of Harare’s health department.

He added that the doctors would be available at the clinics all times.

After renovations, council clinics are expected to offer better services at affordable fees.

“Patients who cannot afford to access treatment at private hospitals can always access treatment at poly clinics in Harare, for example, when doctors from Government hospitals go on strike.

“This means that they would have another option for seeking treatment,” he added.

During the just ended strike by Government hospital doctors, skeletal staff only attended to dire cases.

The rest were turned away and had to seek treatment from private doctors.

Some sought help from City of Harare’s health facilities.

The City of Harare has gone a step further and renovated its laboratories and has constructed a huge pharmacy at Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital.

The pharmacy will also benefit people from outside Harare.

A cold room was donated by a well wisher for the storage of vaccines. Before the donation of the cold room, vaccines at Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospitals were stored in ordinary chest freezers.

“The well wisher also donated a back-up generator so that the vaccines are always stored at the right temperatures even when there is a power outage,” said Dr Chonzi.

Harare Central Hospital also refurbished one of its wards in October last year and completed the renovation process in June at a cost of $177 000. The renovations include wall paintings and new flooring. Wall tiles have been put whilst bathrooms in ward B4 were also refurbished including the installation of new curtain rails and the procurement of new curtains.

Modern beds were also bought in the refurbished ward and they come with locker drip sets.

Old lights were also removed and replaced.

The office meant for the staff attending to patients in the ward also got a fresh coat of paint and it now has new floor tiles.

According to Harare Central Hospital clinical director, Mr George Vera, financial constraints prolonged the completion of ward B4 renovations.

“Due to limited financial resources, we were not able to buy new benches for our patients in ward B4. We only managed to renovate one ward and have been unable to continue with renovations to the rest of the wards due to lack of funds,” said Mr Vera.

They are appealing to individuals and the corporate world to assist in the completion of the wards.

At the end of the day, a facelift can go a long way in sprucing up the image of a health facility.

Source : The Herald

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