Bulawayo Ward 25 councillor Mzama Dube has deplored the depreciating quality of service at council clinics with patients forced to wait for hours before being attended.
The local authority runs 19 clinics and one hospital, the Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital.
Speaking during a full council meeting on Wednesday, Cllr Dube said residents were received poor services at local clinics.
“Residents are being made to wait outside the clinic for a long time. Clinics are supposed to open at 7:30 AM but patients only get access into the premises around 9 AM. When we make enquiries we hear that there would be meetings being conducted. Furthermore, these premises do not have proper infrastructure so some patients end up sitting on the ground waiting to be attended to,” he said.
“It is such a sorry sight because some of the patients will be very ill and in no position to wait outside for a long time. When they finally get inside you find that the health facility premises would be very dirty yet patients are expected to wait there. They would be surrounded by burst sewer pipes and overgrown grass.”
In response, Deputy mayor Cllr Mlandu Ncube, said clinic staff is constantly urged to treat patients expeditiously
“It is a pity that we are getting such a report. The staff is always encouraged to go attend to patients as soon as they arrive. We cannot condone such behaviour where meetings can be held at the expense of patients. However, we’re in the process of building databases, that way we can be able to actively interact with the clients,” said Cllr Ncube.
Last year, Ward 2 councillor Joyce Ndlovu advocated for the revamping of Northend clinic, which she said did not have adequate infrastructure like benches and sheds exposing patients to adverse weather elements.