Masvingo city council has opened an investigation into its nursing staff at the city’s main maternity clinic after several expecting mothers in the past weeks were turned away for seeking health services after working hours.
Pregnant women who visited Mazorodze Clinic in Mucheke after working hours especially after 7 pm were turned away by the nursing staff prompting the local authority to institute an investigation on its staff members.
According to the latest full council meeting minutes, the health and housing committee said council should investigate the issue as all maternity patients registered at the clinic must get services at any time.
“There are allegations that the maternity patients who reported at Mucheke clinic after 7 pm were turned away.
“the chief environmental health officer reported that there was need to investigate the allegations further since normal practice was that all maternity patients registered at Mucheke clinic were free to get maternity services at anytime, “ reads part of the report from the committee.
The local authority run health center is a choice among many expecting mothers in Masvingo as they charge $30 to deliver at the clinic against government owned Masvingo provincial hospital’s maternity home which charges $80 for the same services.
Recently the nursing staff at the clinic were at the center of a storm after an expecting mother died in a pirate taxi while being rushed to Masvingo provincial hospital after nurses refused to ferry her in an ambulance as she had no $10 emergency ambulance fee, charged by the clinic.
A local residents watchdog, Masvingo United Residents and Rate payers Alliance (MURRA) said the issue of patient welfare at council clinics should extensively looked into and the culprits must be brought to book as staff at the institution are violating people’s rights to health.
“It disheartens that officials in the local authority are folding their hands while patients are being ill treated.
“This is not the first time we as an organization have come across cases of expecting mothers and patients in general complaining about poor services offered at these clinics
“Council workers are endangering the lives of both the mother and the baby in the womb and also violating their constitutionally guaranteed right to health, we call upon the city council to bring to book those who are doing that,” MURRA spokesperson Godfrey Mtimba said.