Nurses at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo have said their presence at the referral hospital no longer serves any purpose in the absence of basic and critical resources needed for the day to day running of the health institution.
Public hospitals across the country are facing a myriad of challenges ranging from understaffing and unavailability of materials and equipment making it a nightmare for nurses and doctors to perform their duties.
Speaking to CITE on the side-lines of a nurses demonstration against poor conditions of service at the hospital Monday, Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) provincial chairperson, Nicholas Chidora, said shortages of resources at the institution had rendered their reporting for duty useless.
“We can be here as nurses but without resources we just watch patients die; we watch patients get critical,” said Chidora.
“Over the weekend we went for three days without electricity in this hospital. We had two patients that were supposed to go to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and two who were supposed to be on ventilators.”
Chidora who said nurses were not murderers to watch patients die every day but were concerned with saving lives, accused the hospital administration of mismanaging funds, arguing more resources should be directed to the welfare of patients.
He said the hospital had not purchased protective clothing as part of preparations for dealing with the deadly Corona Virus in the event of an outbreak.
“Now we have Corona Virus. Go ask the nursing administration and hospital administration on what they have done for this hospital in terms of screening patients or protecting the staff,” he bemoaned.
“Now they want us to come back to work with one thermometer in a hospital with one no BP machine, no essential drugs. When patients want to get operated on they are told to go out and buy medicine how do you buy that when you are unconscious?”
Primrose Sibanda, a midwife, said patients were suffering while nurses could not do anything to come to their rescue.
“As nurses we have our patients at heart,” said Sibanda.
“We have gone for a week without water. Right now we can go to the wards and you will witness this. The whole of last week there was no food but now the administration is going to a workshop and an ambulance is filled with bottled water for themselves but the whole of last week patients had no food and electricity and all patients were being transferred to United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH) and they do not care about all that.”
Thomas Nyikadzino who is part of the hospital management said that they would only respond after deliberating on the issues submitted by the nurses.