Patients blasts health practioners
By Laurence Kanyasa
Professionalism and attitude of healthcare workers have come under scrutiny after a number of patients complained over behavior and attitude of health personnel at public hospitals and clinics.
This development came to light when disgruntled patients cited their complaints through various social media networks
Patients with sexually transmitted infections and pregnant women say nurses and other healthcare workers often treat them in harsh manner.
“People here at Harare hospital are so rough, they take longer periods to attend to a patient, it is disturbing because some patients get worse whilst inline to be attended to, “said Annabel Chiza, a disgruntled patient in Harare.
Pregnant women are expected to bring their own buckets, bandages, mentholated spirit and other supplies to deliver.
Observers say lack of knowledge on how to deal with patients is one of the barriers amongst people especially the youth in accessing medical healthcare in hospitals.
The Zimbabwe Aids Support Network (ZASN) also pointed out that patients are sometimes asked to postpone treatment and come the next day whilst situation worsens
“Nurses and doctors delay treatment with the hope of getting money from patients and those that pay are immediately attended to,” an unnamed patient who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Heath experts say that low remuneration and lack of proper protective equipment in hospitals have caused more stress for the health worker.
“It is very difficult to work and produce good results whilst pondering about the problems at workplace, it is stressful and I think this is one of the reasons why healthcare workers have turned out in such a way,” said Clementine Mufudza, a junior doctor and general medical practitioner.
This trend has overlapped to other faculties of the healthcare system evidenced by low turnout to get Covid 19 vaccines
Negative behavior from health workers has barred many youths from getting vaccinated.
Zimbabwe Aids Trust coordinator Gwendolyn Chapwanya says young people are not happy with the harassment and mocking by healthcare workers.
“Youth say if one visits a health facility to get medical attention or get vaccinated for Covid and display some symptoms like coughing, they would pull out of line and chased outside the gate” Chapwanya said
She added that the majority of young people are now reluctant to get vaccinated against Covid 19 because they find it hard and stressful to get treated or vaccinated.
The healthcare system in Zimbabwe has been in shambles, as many healthcare workers have had to deal with a myriad of problems ranging from poor salaries, poor working conditions, and lack of PPE to use when attending patients.
In January this year doctors, nurses and healthcare workers took industrial action to put pressure on the ministry of health and stakeholders in the health sector to push for better working conditions.
Efforts to get a comment fro the authorities were fruitless at the time of going to the press.