THE Health and Childcare ministry has raised concerns over private clinics claiming to be Covid-19 health facilities without getting approval from the government, saying they are a danger to society.
Health and Childcare permanent secretary Agnes Mahomva told a press conference in Harare yesterday that private practitioners were welcome to support the management of Covid-19 cases, however, they should get clearance from the ministry first.
“The ministry has learned and noticed that some private facilities that have not been officially assessed and registered are springing up as ‘Covid-19 clinics’.
“These facilities are operating illegally, are a danger to the Covid-19 patients and communities around them and should stop operating with immediate effect until they have completed all registration processes. Our public health teams are in the process of visiting such facilities and others for compliance checks and action accordingly,” she said.
“Since Covid-19 is an infectious disease that was declared a formidable epidemic disease, any private facility intending to manage Covid-19 disease (including testing, isolation and treatment) should duly apply to the permanent secretary in the ministry of Health and Childcare for assessment, approval and registration in line with the Public Health Act provisions.”
This comes after private practitioners were recently barred from attending to Covid-19 patients with a directive that they should be referred to public health institutions.
However, some private health facilities such as Rock Foundation Medical Hospital and the Avenues Clinic have been authorised to handle Covid-19 patients.
The Avenues clinic has offered its Montagu Clinic located in the Avenues area to provide 22 beds with six being intensive care unit (ICU) beds and an onsite pharmacy for Covid-19 patient.