Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu, Health Reporter
MEMBERS of the public in need of medical attention can still access services at United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) but only those who test Covid-19 positive will be admitted with those suffering from other ailments being referred to Mpilo Central Hospital for detention.
The two hospitals will also be attending to people without asking them to first produce Covid-19 testing certificates.
Last month, the Bulawayo provincial medical directorate decided to reserve UBH for Covid-19 patients as designated centres are still under renovation and not ready to admit anyone.
The designated centres that are not ready are Ekusileni Health Centre, Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital and Old Bartley Memorial Block within UBH.
Acting Mpilo clinical director Dr Xolani Ndlovu said UBH was still offering health care services to people from eastern suburbs but admissions at the institution were strictly for those who would have tested positive to Covid-19.
He said members of the public must stick to the Bulawayo City Council zoning mechanism and go to their nearest health institution.
“Our concern was triggered by the fact that there are patients who are thrown between hospitals. They are taken to UBH and are told they need a PCR and when they go to Mpilo they are told the same. There is no standing directive which says that people should not be attended without a PCR test result,” said Dr Ndlovu.
“What is supposed to happen and according to our agreement, UBH is the hospital that is going to be admitting patients that have Covid-19. This only applies to admission and doesn’t include medical attention at casualty.”
Dr Ndlovu said according to the city zoning standards, patients from western areas should go to Mpilo and those from eastern areas go to UBH.
“Only in a situation when a patient is already known to be Covid-19 positive on PCR is he/she taken to UBH regardless of which zone they are coming from. All other patients use the usual zoning method,” he said.
“What then happens when patients get to Mpilo and are suspected to be Covid-19 positive is that they are going to be seen and tested using a PCR. That patient is admitted to a holding ward which we call ward for persons under investigations or PUI in short. When the patient is positive the person is moved to UBH or Thorngrove when they have space or Ekusileni once it opens,” he said.
“If the result is negative, they are moved from PUI to normal wards. When a patient is at UBH, they are admitted into isolation wards and when negative, they are transferred to Mpilo. There is no policy that says people need PCR test before being attended to.” — @thamamoe