The United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) has resumed offering other medical services to the public about three months after it was turned into a Covid-19 treatment centre.
UBH was turned into a Covid-19 unit in July 2020 to admit residents who required isolation and treatment following a government directive while Mpilo Central Hospital took over the management of other ailments.
Dr Dzvanga said Monday would cater for patients seeking general surgery, Tuesday for medicines, Wednesday – orthopaedics, Thursday – Neurology and ENT (ear, nose and throat services) while Friday was set for paediatrics.
“These services are available but through appointment. People can phone through our switchboard (0292252111). We have 10 to 15 lines that can be used by residents to book for an appointment. So our OPD is running and the usual services that you have always known to be available to you at UBH are running smoothly,” he said.
The acting CEO added that patients who came in seeking other medical services had risen from 10 to a current 319.
“We saw about 10 patients, that is when we had turned the whole hospital into a Covid-19 unit. So we beg all of you to tell the public that they are safe and we are providing the usual services as before,” Dr Dzvanga said.
Dr Dzvanga noted that although the OPD was open, it had limitations in order to abide to Covid-19 protocols.
“The way the OPD is functioning is not like how we used to do many years ago. The rules are not to have more than 50 people per place. For us at UBH, staff and cleaners will constitute 20 and the other 30 will be patients. Of those 30 patients, most will come with an escort so we have restricted the numbers to 15 patients per clinic per day,” he said.
“Previously we had a clinic for each speciality every day but now we have said one speciality per day. If the rules allow more people, we will also increase numbers we see at any one time, so from 15 we could go to 30.”
Dr Dzvanga also said the hospital closed early to allow for staff to decontaminate the premises.
“Our clinic has to be closed by 12 noon so that we do the decontamination and the cleaning in order to be ready for the next day. That’s how we operate at the moment but as the rules relax we will go back to normal,” Dr Dzvanga noted.