BUSINESSMAN and cleric, Shingi Munyeza has called out government for failing to equip hospitals and underpaying doctors while at the same time expecting them to save lives.
BY RUTENDO MATANHIKE
In a video posted on Twitter, Munyeza, who is in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Presidential Advisory Council, slammed the government for shutting hospitals’ doors instead of finding a lasting solution to the over three-month-long impasse.
Observers have called the current health crisis “a slow genocide”.
“We have a problem in the health sector. The doctors are not paid enough to even come to work and we expect them to save lives. Because we are not operating at the capacity that we should, we lock the hospitals?” Munyeza said.
The cleric said Zimbabwe should not celebrate backyard midwifery.
Expecting women have been forced to turn to unskilled midwives after services at primary healthcare and referral centres ground to a halt.
“An old lady is now beginning to be a midwife in a miserable situation. We go out there and celebrate that and make it headlines saying look at how we have become geniuses of beating the system of shrinking capacity,” he said, referring to Mbare’s 72-year-old Esther Zinyoro Gwena, who has been assisting hundreds of pregnant women in her makeshift labour room.
Social media has been awash with pictures of women in labour who were sharing space in the makeshift labour room that showed no signs of proper sanitation, risking cross infections.
“We make some of you uncomfortable because you do not want to talk about this, but when a whole establishment comes and says (let’s) lock up all the hospitals, it means that we are shrinking further and further,” he said.
“We sit here and justify it and say it is because of this one and that one. Women are languishing in pain with no painkillers while giving birth in this era and you want to celebrate that moment? We cannot come and bow down to a reducing capacity in our time. ”
The Health ministry fired 448 doctors and threatened to take disciplinary measures against senior doctors, some of whom were carrying out their duties. Government later issued a 48-hour moratorium for the doctors to return to work with no questions asked.
The government alleges that a foreign hand was paying the doctors to stay away from work, while the doctors insist their salaries were too low and the poorly equipped hospitals had no drugs to save lives. – News Day