Home » Health Services » U.S $89 Million Retool for Hospitals

Major medical operations like open heart surgery and kidney transplants will now be conducted locally after Government procured state-of-the-art theatre equipment under an US$89 million loan facility from China’s Eximbank.

This is in line with Government’s economic blueprint, Zim-Asset which — in the social services and poverty eradication cluster — provides for the re-tooling of hospitals and acquisition of essential equipment to address challenges that afflicted the health sector due to sanctions-induced funding constraints.

Part of the equipment has since been installed at major hospitals and its use should result in patients not being referred to other countries for such operations.

The theatre equipment already in the country includes theatre tables, high definition theatre lights and anaesthetic machines which have since been installed at Parirenyatwa Hospital, Harare Central Hospital, Chitungwiza Central Hospital, United Bulawayo Hospitals and Mpilo Central Hospital.

Other equipment procured under the loan includes CT scan machines, Magnetic Resonance Imaging machines, dialysis machines and their consumables, ultra sound machines, digital x-ray machines, oxygen generating machines and baby incubators.

Government also procured 11 state-of-the-art Mercedes Benz ambulances.

The equipment was bought from various countries including Germany and China.

Provincial hospitals will for the first time offer services that they never used to offer such as dialysis and cancer diagnosis.

Although only a third of the consignment has arrived in the country since April, the whole consignment is expected to have been delivered before the end of next year.

“Government last procured equipment for public institutions in 1958 and our institutions were unable to do even simple procedures of late because we did not have the equipment,” said principal director, curative services, in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Mr Christopher Tapfumaneyi.

Mr Tapfumaneyi said Government had started discussing with different categories of specialist surgeons on the possibility of conducting major procedures such as open heart surgery and kidney transplants.

“Once all the equipment is in place, we would expect our specialist surgeons to start conducting some of these major surgeries so that our patients do not continue going outside the country for procedures,” said Mr Tapfumaneyi.

Aging equipment was an eyesore in most public health institutions, with patients requiring services such as scans being referred to private institutions where costs were prohibitive for the majority of Zimbabweans.

In some instances, some of the equipment such as those for cancer diagnosis and treatment were only accessible at Parirenyatwa Hospital, creating pressure on the existing facilities.

This had impacted negatively on medical personnel’s zeal to assist patients as they were confronted with obsolete equipment.

“We are re-equipping to almost 70 percent of all our needs and this should have a huge impact on our national health delivery system,” said Mr Tapfumaneyi.

Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa is on record as saying Government was looking forward to de-centralising a majority of health services to district levels.

This loan arrangement was facilitated by the Office of the President and Cabinet and is one of three deals worth US$271 million extended to the Zimbabwean government by Eximbank of China.

The loan will attract a two percent interest rate and 0,5 percent management and commissioning rates payable over 20 years with a grace period of five years.

Source : The Herald