By Pretty Chavango
Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa has revealed that his ministry is working on building a new hospital in Harare in fulfilment of his previous promise.
The new hospital is earmarked to make up for the now dilapidated Harare Central Hospital which has gone through continuous renovations.
The plans for the more spacious Hospital are said to be at an advanced stage with the ground having already been identified within Harare central hospital grounds.
It, however, remains to be seen if the hospital will indeed be constructed as the minister has previously made the same statements but nothing materialised on the ground.
In an interview, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care chairperson Dr Ruth Labode dismissed the plans adding that it was wishful thinking especially with the prevailing economic situation in the country.
“It is not feasible noting the current economy in the country, hospitals are developed as part of a long-term plan and this might be done in the next 3-4 years and not now, it is impossible.
“If that money does exist then let it be used to revamp existing hospitals, let it go to the refurbishment of hospitals, mortuaries and stocking of medication. If the minister was talking about building a district hospital it would be understandable not replacing Harare Central Hospital, and what of the others like Mpilo, weren’t they built at the same time? She said
Harare Central Hospital was built in 1958 to cater for about 630 black Africans while Parirenyatwa hospital catered for the white community, 59 years later the hospital is now in an appalling state.
Dr Parirenyatwa statement, however, comes at a time when the government has again failed to meet the Abuja Declaration on funding the health sector.
Health got about 7 percent of the total budget against Abuja demand of about 15 percent.