THE situation at Mutare Provincial Hospital remains dire following the strike by nurses and doctors with only a few senior nurses and student nurses attending to patients, a development that has prompted the Government to intervene through the deployment of medical staff from the Zimbabwe armed forces.
The Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs, Mandi Chimene, who visited the hospital this week on Monday said the Government was left with no option but to deploy qualified medical staff from the Zimbabwe National Army, Zimbabwe Republic Police and Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services to the affected hospitals.
“The current crippled service delivery at the hospital is a shame the armed forces have to intervene with immediate effect,” she said.
The Minister asked the hospital’s Medical Superintendent, Dr Jaenchi Mutede, to recall all willing nurses and sisters-in-charge who are currently on leave to immediately come and resume duties as the hospital was in a crisis and needed them the most.
When The Manica Post visited the hospital on Wednesday business was moving slowly, especially in the outpatient department with a few sisters-in-charge, student nurses and nurse aides attending to patients. Some doctors were also in attendance.
Some patients who had been at the hospital since Tuesday had not been attended to and were lying the outpatients benches. An elderly man who was suffering from boils and could barely sit on the out-patients bench said he had arrived at the hospital the previous day (Tuesday) and had not yet been attended to.
“I have just been told that the nurses are on strike, and it now makes sense on why I have been here for the past 30 hours. I came from Honde Valley yesterday and thought that by yesterday afternoon, I would have been back home but up to now, everything here is stagnant,” said the man who requested not to be named.
A Sister-in-charge who also asked not to be named said she was on leave and had to rush back to work after being called back.
“There is no option, I had to come back with immediate effect after I heard that my fellow nurses have withdrawn their labour and the students are here alone with the heavy load,” she said.
The Provincial Medical Director, Dr Patron Mafaune was not readily available for comment. – Manica Post