COMMENT: Introduction of hospital inspectors a noble move

The Chronicle

IN the past, members of the public have bitterly complained about poor service in public hospitals where medical staff are accused of dragging their feet when attending to patients.

In some instances, the medical staff has been accused of gross negligence that has led to avoidable loss of life.  At the beginning of this month, this paper reported on a case of suspected negligence at Mpilo Central Hospital where a newborn baby died after falling into a toilet bowl.

This was after nurses allegedly left the mother, who is mentally challenged, to give birth unattended. The horrific incident happened on 30 December 2021.

The woman (21) from Nkulumane 12, who was allegedly denied attentive care supposedly as a result of her mental disability went into labour and decided to use the toilet where her baby was later trapped in the bowl. Her child, who died as a result of alleged malpractice and medical negligence, was cremated.

There have been reports of similar cases at Mpilo Central Hospital and other public hospitals resulting in the arrest and prosecution of offending medical staff while some members of the public have gone the civil route by suing the institutions and staff involved in the malpractice.

Private hospitals have also been caught up in cases of negligence that, in some cases, have also resulted in the unnecessary loss of life.

The introduction of inspectors by the Ministry of Health and Child care to monitor operations at hospitals is sweet music to the public as the Government moves towards ensuring quality healthcare for Zimbabweans.

The newly established inspectorate division is part of the ministry’s restructuring programme whose implementation paves way for the rolling out of a sustainable funding model, for greater effectiveness, and a new work ethic for staff in line with Vision 2030.

Speaking on Friday after a week-long orientation programme, which was held in Victoria Falls, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr John Mangwiro, said the inspectors were ready to self-introspect for better service delivery.

“As a ministry we have standard operating procedures and guidelines, which we need to constantly use to check if we are meeting set parameters and targets, we set for ourselves as a ministry,” he said.

“This team will help us follow up on patient care, inspect if patients are being attended to on time, why there are drug shortages in all our health facilities and investigate what causes deaths so that we have a quality delivery system.

“As we work towards the upper middle-income vision by 2030, we have set standards for ourselves, which the inspectors will help assess so that we continue to improve every day.”

Dr Mangwiro said the inspections were already underway countrywide adding that all health care workers will be assessed on how they serve members of the public.

“This training was done in partnership with the army as we decided to save forex and not take our inspectors outside Zimbabwe for the training,” he said.

“We have collaborated with some Government departments and hope that once inspectors work on ensuring our institutions are clean, the cleanliness will spread to industry and home, we want our environment to be clean so that we have a happier and healthier nation.”

Through the latest move among other interventions, the Government is showing commitment in improving health care in the country and to those in hospitals, public or private, who have not been taking their job seriously, Play Time Is Over.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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