Rural Patients Asked To Buy Fuel For Ambulances - MP
Molly Mkandla, a Member of Parliament from Hwange, has claimed that some rural patients were being asked to buy fuel for government ambulances.
She made the remarks in parliament last week asking the minister of Health and Child Care why that was the case. Mkandla said:
My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care, what is the Government’s position on the Government ambulances?Feedback
When they carry patients from rural areas to district hospitals after being referred, patients are asked to fuel the ambulances or pay a certain amount?
On behalf of the government, Higher and Tertiary Education Minister, Professor Amon Murwira, declared that any soliciting of fuel or payment from patients was corruption. He said:
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There is no policy of Government that speaks to people, individual citizens putting fuel into a government ambulance.
Certain cases are of irregularity that should be reported as such and they will be dealt with in the context of corruption.
Murwira urged communities to report authorities that were asking patients to buy fuel for ambulances saying it was corruption.
However, Harare North legislator, Allan Norman Markham, was sceptical if Murwira’s approach was going to work. He said:
My question is, how does the Minister expect me to report corruption if I call an ambulance when someone is dying, and they want US$30 for fuel?
If I report corruption afterwards, do you think health personnel will come to my house again?
The cost of health services is out of reach for many but is further exacerbated by corrupt tendencies.
According to the 2018 Auditor General Report, only 48 per cent of ambulances in Zimbabwe were functional.
The government has since acquired ambulances to augment the shortage, but there is still a huge deficit.
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