Zimbabwe’s major hospitals without substantive CEOs for 2 years

BULAWAYO – Zimbabwe’s major hospitals are operating with acting CEOs nearly two years after the health services board conducted interviews, ZimLive can reveal.

Five CEOs at Zimbabwe’s major public hospitals were forced out in 2020 after the health ministry said it was reforming how hospital chiefs are appointed, with a new requirement that they should be senior medical doctors.

Interviews were conducted in June 2020 to replace them, but two years on the hospitals are still under caretaker leadership which health campaigners say is hampering long-term planning at the institutions.

Dr Michael Chiwanga is acting CEO at Chitungwiza Central Hospital, Dr Christopher Pasi is in temporary charge at Sally Mugabe Hospital, Dr Narcisious Dzvanga is the acting CEO of the United Bulawayo Hospitals, Prof Solwayo Ngwenya is in caretaker charge at Mpilo Central Hospital, Dr Nemache Mawere is holding station at Ingutsheni Central Hospital and Dr Aspect Maunganidze is acting CEO at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, the biggest referral centre in the country.

The acting CEOs oversaw the worst of Covid-19 – but there are no guarantees any will be retained when the ministry of health finally appoints the successful candidates.

A senior doctor said: “It’s not the way to run public hospitals, especially during a time of multiple crises when the hospital leadership must have the flexibility and authority to make tough decisions in the interests of public health.”

Health minister Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the vice president, is inaccessible to journalists. His deputy Dr John Mangwiro and the ministry’s secretary Dr Jasper Chimedza had not responded to questions left for them.

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