Monday, February 06, 2006

Harare General Hospital runs out of anesthesia

Harare Central Hospital has suspended carrying out surgeries due to an acute shortage of anaesthetics and anti-oxidants, Zimdaily can reveal. Hospital Doctors Association president Takunda Chinyoka confirmed that the State institution was reeling from an acute shortage of anaesthetics and had suspended operating patients until the situation improves. "The hospital has been referring critical cases to Parirenyatwa but the referral hospital has also been failing to cope. What is in short supply are anti-oxidants and sedatives," Chinyoka told Zimdaily.

Patients were observed writhing in pain at the hospital's outpatients department without being attended to. James Mushoriwa, whose leg injuries were turning septic told Zimdaily that he had been held at the hospital for the past one week without any treatment, adding that he could not afford to seek medical attention at private hospitals because of the prohibitive health costs there. Health minister David Parirenyatwa yesterday refuted reports that the hospital had run out of anaesthetics.

"That is not true at all," Parirenyatwa said. "The reason why the intensive care is not working is because there are renovations taking place there. Dont try to politicise this issue," he said. Health and Child Welfare is listed at number 16 of the 21 ‘vote appropriations’ in Zimbabwe’s national budget. Over 40% of the health budget goes to salaries, but there is little money for salary increases, doctors’ on-call allowances and home nursing visits......

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