Govt hospitals detain patients over bills

GOVERNMENT hospitals around the country are still detaining patients for failure to pay their bills, has established.

parirenyatwa-hospital-250At Harare Hospital, a patient who recently underwent a surgical procedure was discharged a week ago but remains detained as the institution tries to force payment of her US$1,700 bill.

Speaking to weekend, the patient expressed dismay at the manner her case was being handled, adding that she is unemployed and struggling to fend for her three young children.

“I am not happy with the way I am being treated at this Hospital; I am being detained for failure to pay $1700 which is too much for me,” she said, asking not to be named.

“Where will I get that money when I am already to fend for my three children? I don’t know how long I am going to be detained here because I don’t have any source of income.”

Another patient who also spoke on condition of anonymity said she has been detained for more than a week after being discharged from Parirenyatwa Hospital where she was treated for accident injuries.

“I spent two weeks in hospital after getting injured in an accident and now, after being discharged, they are saying I must stay until I pay all the bills. I don’t know what to do”, she told this reporter.

Health and Child Care Acting Permanent Secretary Gibson Mhlanga told New Zimbabwe all patients admitted at public health institutions are supposed to pay their bills.

He said in instances where patients to not have ready cash, they should agree a payment plan with relevant hospital authorities.

Government-owned hospitals also force patients to pay upfront for most medical services.

Those above 65 years of age only exempted from paying a card fee which is set at $12. All medical accessories like bandages must also be paid for before they are supplied to patients.

This week private doctors and non-State health institutions also warned that they would refuse to treat patients on medical aid schemes, complaining that the insurance companies are not paying out on claims.

Government however, said it was illegal for doctors to refuse to treat patients.


Post published in: Featured

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *