THORNGROVE Infectious Diseases Hospital has been operating below capacity in terms of its human resources complement despite that the health facility was given an added responsibility to take care of COVID-19 patients in Bulawayo and entire Matabeleland region.

BY SILAS NKALA

The dire situation has forced the Bulawayo City Council to seek government intervention to ensure that more health personnel is deployed to the institution.

Council’s latest minutes indicate that the hospital needs over 354 State-registered nurses.

However, it is operating below capacity with only 216, which constitutes 61%.

Council’s health services director Edwin Sibanda last month reported that soon after the COVID-19 outbreak, the city’s health services department had requested government assistance to enable it to employ more nurses and other staff to alleviate the staff shortage.

“Following that request, the Health and Child Care ministry had employed Dr Confidence Munjeri, Dr Allen Donhorere, and nurse aides Nonhlanhla Ndlovu and Caroline Chitambe, under the Mpilo Hospital vote for secondment to Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the minutes read.

“All emoluments would be paid by the Health and Child Care ministry, while council would be responsible for the day-to-day supervision of staff members. The department was very grateful for the secondment of the staff as it would go a long way in alleviating the shortage of staff in the department.”

The local authority runs 19 clinics and indications are that they are understaffed to a point of having only a 60% staff complement.

Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital was designated a coronavirus isolation centre in March this year.

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