Zimbabwe’s first specialist hospital, currently under construction in Mazowe, will welcome patients in August as the government works to modernise the healthcare industry and guarantee that top-notch services are offered locally.
The hospital will be among the top specialty healthcare facilities in Africa once it is finished, the state media reports.
Before the main site is unveiled early next year, the facility will begin operating its Oral Health Unit, Eye Centre, Invitro Fertilization Unit (IVF) Unit, and Diagnostic Laboratory. The facility is spearheaded by the University of Zimbabwe and funded by the Government.
UZ Vice Chancellor Professor Paul Mapfumo said: “We have been putting mechanisms in place to accelerate construction works. We are building capacity to do the construction through our newly established Department of Engineering, Infrastructure and Estate,” he said.
Prof Mapfumo said the site is currently being equipped.
“The groundbreaking of the main site was done by the President but we do have the Oral Health Unit, Eye Centre, IVF Unit and the Diagnostic Laboratory, which are now at equipmentation phase.
“So, we are hoping that those units should be functioning before August this year if we get a good lead of time of part of the critical equipment. We were importing some of the equipment but now, we are trying to look at what we can source in the country and that’s the phase we are in now,” he said.
He said the administration building has now taken shape after a lot of underground construction.
“The second module is the pharmacy building, the third module is the oncology and the fourth is cardiology. We also have the outer site where we are doing the public and environmental health building,” he said.
A Quinary hospital offers the highest specialised healthcare.
The UZ facility is also expected to train specialists and health personnel.
“Our medical school is increasingly becoming very visible and on demand from other institutions in the region. This means we are already on the path to have a flagship for the university and the country in terms of medical training.
“There will be a reduction of the estimated US$400 million that people spend on importing medical services. But we think that the substitution for the Quinary hospital is to stop people from going outside to search for medical assistance,” he said.
The hospital, Prof Mapfumo said, is responding to the call for industrialisation of medical training under Education 5.0.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube recently said it was imperative for the country to enhance medical tourism and cut the costly medical bill.
“We were losing US$400 million a year through these referrals. So, the sector sends a patient for treatment to India on referral but that doctor in India, if he were to come to Zimbabwe wanting to treat a patient here, he is not allowed by the same medical council,” said the Minister.
By setting up the Quinary hospital, Zimbabwe will be able to launch its own medical tourism and attract local specialist doctors who are based abroad.