MPILO Central Hospital needs at least $5m annually to offer better services, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Leonard Mabandi has said.
The hospital caters for Bulawayo and a referral centre for patients from Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, the Midlands, and Masvingo, serving a combined population of about six million people.
In an interview, Mr Mabandi said:
“This hospital needs a minimum of $5m if we are going to really deliver as we are expected as a health institution. We need to have medicine, our equipment running, hospital cleaned, our laundry functioning well,” he said.
“Our institution offers what we call health insurance. This means just being prepared for any disaster. So our expenditure is related to preparing for the unknown hence the need for such amounts of money.”
He said there is a need for Government to increase budget allocations for the health sector as most of challenges at hospitals can be traced to inadequate funding.
“The 2017 budget has been very good compared to the previous years. I think this year we almost got 100 percent of the allocation, although it was not adequate especially for a hospital like ours. It was just around $1m, which is not even half of what we need,” said the CEO.
“Most of the challenges we face are related to finance, for example if we talk about lack of medicine, it may be the absence of medicine in the market because of foreign currency shortages. Some of our equipment spares have to be bought outside the country. We also have a human resources challenge which we are hoping will be history soon.”
Mr Mabandi said hospital fee collections have helped in the operation of the hospital.
“This year we collected more than $2.5m and that’s the money we are using to make sure that the hospital continues to provide the services we are expected to,” he said.
“So for 2018 we are hoping that the allocation and the distribution will be better judging from the spirit that we see in the new dispensation.”