By Nyore Madzianike
Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals will, starting the beginning of April, no longer accept patients from Harare’s prisons over an outstanding US$600 000 debt accrued on rendered health services.
Speaking during the Chikurubi Female Prisons tour by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, ZPSC’S doctor Evidence Gaka said Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals made it clear that they would not accept their patients unless the debt has been settled.
“I am a medical doctor and I am not qualified to comment of financial issues but there is a debt which is about nearly US$600 000.
“I am sure that there is a communication that was sent sayingthat they will not accept patients from this side starting from April 1 if not paid.
“The debt was at about US$578 000 as of February 28 this year,” he said.
Officer-in-Charge at the female prisons, Chief Superintendent Mary Misihairambwi bemoaned, the lack of health facilities.
She said the prison was operating without an ambulance despite housing 145 inmates plus 13 children.
“As of now every inmate has access to sanitary facilities but we have a challenge of transport. We have one vehicle that caters for Norton and Chitungwiza as well.
“We don’t have an ambulance and enough drugs,” she said.
Chief Supt Misihairambwi also said that they ran out of toilet papers and inmates were surviving on newspapers.
“We don’t have toilet papers and inmates are using newspapers. But I can say sanitary pads are available.
“They were donated by various churches and individuals,” she said.
The Parliamentary Committee, which was being led by its chairperson Hon Sabina Mangwende, visited the female prison to check on the living conditions of the female inmates. H Metro