Minister warns government doctors diverting patients to private surgeries

Douglas Mombeshora

HARARE – Health and Child Care minister Douglas Mombeshora says action will be taken against government hospital doctors caught diverting patients to their private surgeries without any justifiable cause.

He was responding to legislators Wednesday during parliament’s question and answer session.

Mombeshora said, “Those patients who are admitted in government hospitals are supposed to follow treatment protocols in government hospitals.”

The minister said it is permissible for doctors employed by government to run private hospitals for as long as they conduct their work professionally.



“It is allowed at a certain level, especially the consultancy, to have private practice, but it is not allowed to transfer patients that you have seen in government to your private practice unless the patient has insisted that they no longer want to be treated in a government hospital,” said Mombeshora.

“When such cases arise, the patient is requested to put in writing that they are leaving government hospital against medical advice to go and get treatment elsewhere.

“…Where a government medical practitioner is referring a patient to his private practice, please let us know so that appropriate disciplinary action can be taken.”

Zimbabwe’s health sector has battled myriad challenges, among them, rundown infrastructure, poorly equipped government hospitals, shortage of functional laundry machines, kitchen equipment and boilers as well as lack of essential medicines.

Service within the public facilities has been described as poor amid meagre wages paid to workers.

The combination of many factors has seen some patients opting for expensive but better managed private medical facilities. – ZimLive