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Political interference at Chinhoyi hospital

CHINHOYI — Political interference in the recruitment of staff and trainee nurses is affecting service provision and the general operation of Chinhoyi General Hospital, Mashonaland West’s provincial health centre.

BY NUNURAI JENA

Chinhoyi hospital superintendent, Collet Mawire said lack of discipline was now a major concern at the health centre, especially from people referred to the institution by top government officials and politicians.

Mawire divulged this during a tour of the hospital by Minister of Health and Child Care David Parirenyatwa, his deputy Paul Chimedza, permanent secretary Gerald Gwinji and Makonde MP, Kindness Paradza.

Mawire said some of the members of staff had become “untouchables”, thereby disrupting the smooth functioning of the hospital, including service delivery.

“Management has found it difficult to control some members of staff because of their supposed affiliation [to politics and individuals] and untouchable nature,” said Mawire.

He gave an example of a nurse with military background whom he said no longer wore the complete uniform, putting on military badges instead of his normal epaulettes.

Mawire also talked about political interference in recruitment after Paradza blasted the hospital officials over recruitment of student nurses. He was not happy that most of the student nurses came from outside the province.

Paradza took delegates by surprise when during the tour he asked a class of about 25 student nurses how many were from Makonde district.

The students said they were mostly from Masvingo and Harare and all hell broke loose with the outspoken journalist-turned-politician accusing the health authorities of neglecting his constituency.

“For Chinhoyi provincial hospital the catchment area is Mashonaland West and more so Makonde because this hospital is in Makonde so I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t have more students from Makonde,” said Paradza.

“We have so many potential students with good ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels from Makonde but they are not getting places here and these places are filled by people from as far as Harare and Masvingo. I’m saying this is wrong.”

Parirenyatwa promised to institute an enquiry to look into “various allegations of mismanagement, political interference and stagnation of development at the hospital.”

The hospital is facing a critical shortage of beds. The Standard news crew saw some patients sleeping on the floor.

Mawire said the hospital had only about 250 beds instead of 430.

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