Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu, Health Reporter
COVID-19 patients are now being hospitalised at Richard Morris Hospital within the United Bulawayo Hospitals with officials urging members of the public to visit the hospital’s main wing for the usual services.
Since last month, members of the public in need of medical attention were accessing all services at UBH but only those who test Covid-19 positive were admitted into the main hospital with those suffering from other ailments being referred to Mpilo Central Hospital for admission.
The temporary arrangement between UBH and Mpilo was meant to ensure those infected have access to healthcare before work is completed at three Covid-19 designated health centres in Bulawayo which are undergoing renovations.
The centres are The Old Bartley Memorial Block (BMB) within UBH, Ekusileni Healthcare Centre and Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital.
Authorities at UBH have now moved all Covid-19 patients to Richard Morris Hospital to allow the main hospital to offer its normal services.
In an interview, UBH acting chief executive officer Dr Narcacius Dzvanga said members of the public had since abandoned the hospital assuming it was the epicentre of Covid-19, but this was not the case.
He said UBH was as a result attending to as little as 12 patients per day which was far less than what is expected.
Richard Morris Hospital is meant to cater for those with eye problems but is now admitting Covid-19 patients, Lady Rodwell Hospital which is the maternity hospital, BMB which is being renovated to cater for Covid-19 patients as well as the main hospital constitute UBH.
Dr Dzvanga said after moving Covid-19 patients to Richard Morris Hospital, the main hospital was now open for all health care services.
“We would like to emphasise that UBH is now open for all health care services after Covid-19 patients were moved to Richard Morris Hospital. At the moment we have eight patients admitted and the rest of the hospital is open for members of the public,” said Dr Dzvanga.
“It’s true that UBH is going to be one of the Covid-19 isolation and treatment centres but it’s open to the public for usual services be it maternity, accidents, surgical operations and other such services,” he said.
Dr Dzvanga said measures had been put in place to ensure all those seeking services at the hospital are not exposed to Covid-19.
“We have put in place measures to ensure there is no cross infections between Covid-19 patients and those patients that are Covid-19 free,” he said.
Dr Dzvanga said the hospital’s Covid-19 centre will be completed by end of September and Covid-19 patients were expected to be moved to the centre soon after.
He said members of the public should not worry about testing for Covid-19 before seeking healthcare at UBH.
Dr Dzvanga said the hospital was now conducting Covid-19 antigen tests which produce results within 30 minutes.
He said members of the public do not need to spend money to get tested for Covid-19 which costs about US$60 at private institutons becuase the hsopital has the testing facility.
Last month, Government said it will sign an agreement with Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo to admit critical Covid-19 patients for free, a move that will improve the province’s ability to deal with the pandemic. — @thamamoe