Debt-ridden hospital extends begging bowl

Chitungwiza Central Hospital (CCH) is looking for partners to help it provide its health services following government’s failure to allocate enough funds for 2014.

Obadiah Moyo.
Obadiah Moyo.

“Last year, the treasury gave us inadequate funds to run the hospital, as we only got $800,000 out of the requested $12m budget. This year we increased our request to $16m, including $4m for our creditors for 2013, and we are not sure how much we will get,” Obadiah Moyo, the chief executive officer told The Zimbabwean.

Moyo said the situation at the hospital required innovative minds to fill the budget gap.

“We are targeting banks, funeral services, mining companies, the local community, churches, musicians and business people interested in health,” he said.

He added that a fund-raising music show was on the cards along with a golf tournament set for April.

“The Health Transition Fund is supporting maternity services and, through public private partnerships, we last year managed to refurbish female surgical and medical wards, the pharmacy, laboratory and radiology departments.

“Through the assistance from the government funds and the targeted approach, we managed to renovate and refurbish the hospital,” he said.

The HTF is an initiative between government and donors to improve health services. Moyo said limited infrastructure and workforce was hindering the referral hospital from meeting its duties of care.

“Our catchment is huge and there is need to build more wards to meet demand. The current disease burden has resulted in a lot of patients being admitted to the hospital.

There is also shortage of nurses and doctors and the nurse-patient ratio is high with student nurses having to fill the gap,” he said. Moyo assured patients, however, that they could expect quality health services in a clean and safe environment despite the challenges.

“Chitungwiza hospital is International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) certified for its best practices and we have laid-down procedures for all the wards and departments. We are trying our best to make resources available.”

He added that a quality assurance department and a team of trained auditors was in place to conduct audits in all departments, something that helped them identify problems and take action promptly.

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