AS ZIMBABWE battles to rebuild its broken health delivery system, Parirenyatwa Hospital is to set up a centre to perform open heart surgeries, the Daily News reports.
This comes as the country’s public health system has been plagued by myriad challenges over the past two decades, including operating with obsolete equipment and suffering acute shortages of critical medicines.
“The centre will offer excellent standards … The equipment is available, as open heart surgery has already been done at the hospital.
“A South African hospital, Medtronic — which specialises in cardiac surgery — came through in 2018 on a placement arrangement to provide the critical equipment for the open heart surgeries,” the hospital’s spokesperson Linos Dhire told the Daily News yesterday.
He also said the hospital already had two cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons, who were able to do two cases a week.
Last year, public hospitals were paralysed by several strikes by health professionals — who included both junior and senior doctors.
Doctors told Parliament at the time that most emergency rooms and life-saving equipment at public hospitals were now totally dysfunctional — leading to many avoidable deaths.
In a damning petition, the Senior Hospital Doctors Association (SHDA) also revealed how intensive care units (ICUs) — where they perform life-saving emergencies — had ceased to operate completely, save for very few that were also in a very poor state.
“Equipment is broken down and there seems to be no efforts to restore them.
“Generally, hospitals have drastically reduced the number of critical beds that can be used, causing avoidable loss of life and exposing doctors to unwarranted blame by patients and relatives.
“For example, Parirenyatwa has reduced its adult intensive care unit beds from nine to three, Harare Hospital from 10 to two and Mpilo is operating on two … beds.
“United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH) has one borrowed ICU machine,” the SHDA said then.
“This has drastically reduced the number of major operations that can be done and made operating on elective cases nearly impossible.
“The same applies to all central hospitals and the cause is lack of consumables, breakdown of equipment, as well as loss of experienced staff who got incapacitated and left the institutions,” it added.