Anger As Zimbabwean Doctor Dies Waiting For Ambulance
People from all walks of life have expressed anger following the death of Zimbabwean doctor, Mthabisi Nembaware, who died at Mutare Hospital while waiting for an ambulance to be airlifted to Harare.
Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono said over 10 doctors wrote to him “expressing their legitimate anger at what happened to one of their colleagues yesterday in Manicaland.”
Dr. Nembaware, who had been working at a rural hospital in Hauna, was involved in a road accident while travelling to Mutare. Despite being stabilized at Mutare Hospital for severe Traumatic Brain Injury, the hospital lacked a functional ICU unit and city-to-city ambulance service. Thus, he needed to be transferred to Harare for specialized care via air ambulance. Chin’ono wrote:
Despite parading the overpriced so called helicopter ambulance, the State couldn’t airlift him to Harare. His family put together US$5,000 to airlift him using a private ambulance air service. But sadly the air ambulance plane couldn’t go because Mutare airport doesn’t have working landing lights. Unfortunately, Dr Mthabisi Nembaware succumbed to the injuries at around 11 pm last night. The doctor has become yet another unnecessary statistic of a collapsed healthcare services. Our country has adequate resources to have a good functional healthcare system, but the public funds are ruthlessly looted to the detriment of the whole nation. Millions of dollars are spent annually buying thousands of luxury cars for Zimbabwe’s unethical political elite, money that could have been deployed fix the critical public services like healthcare. May Dr Mthabisi Nembaware Rest in Peace.
Many people responded to Chin’ono’s post on X (formerly Twitter) expressing their anger towards the government for neglecting the health sector in Zimbabwe.
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Dereck Goto disputed Hopewell Chin’ono’s claims about the condition of hospitals in Mutare. He stated that Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital (Mutare Provincial Hospital) has three ICU beds and two high-care ambulances, refuting the need for evacuating patients to Harare. Goto criticized Hopewell for distorting the truth for personal gain and disrespecting the deceased. He said:
The Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital in Mutare currently has three operational ICU beds and two high-care ambulances. Contrary to the insinuations made by Hopewell on X (Twitter), there was no need to evacuate any casualties from Mutare to Harare. Sometimes, when it is someone’s time to go, nothing can prevent it. Unfortunately, Hopewell has once again twisted the truth for his own political gain, exploiting a tragic accident. This shows unimaginable disrespect for the deceased. May the souls of the dear departed rest in peace. If an evacuation had been necessary, a regular ambulance vehicle would have been used due to the absence of night flying devices on the recently acquired helicopters. I strongly urge our national leaders to take a firmer stand against these purveyors of fake news, who deliberately tarnish our country’s image in the eyes of both our citizens and foreigners. Zimbabwe is our only homeland, and we can not continue to allow a small group of individuals, driven by a desire to impress their Western handlers, to exploit the entire nation through the blatant spreading of falsehoods.
Critics of the government accuse political elites of looting funds that should have been allocated to the health sector. They argue that the politicians show little concern for the healthcare system as they can afford to seek medical treatment abroad. The collapse of the healthcare sector has been an ongoing struggle in Zimbabwe since the early 2000s, leading to daily challenges for the people.