Minister vows to crack down on government doctors diverting patients to their private surgeries


HARARE – Zimbabwe's health minister said on Wednesday that he would take disciplinary action against government hospital doctors who were found to be diverting patients to their private surgeries without valid reasons.

Health minister Douglas Mombeshora warns government doctors diverting patients to private surgeries Zimbabwe latest health news
Health minister warns government doctors against diverting patients to private surgeries amid a public healthcare services crisis.

Douglas Mombeshora told parliament that patients admitted to public hospitals should follow the treatment protocols there and not be transferred to private facilities unless they insisted on doing so.

“It is not allowed to transfer patients that you have seen in government to your private practice unless the patient has insisted that they no longer want to be treated in a government hospital,” he said.

He added that such patients would have to sign a form stating that they were leaving against medical advice.

Mombeshora said that some doctors who worked for the government were also allowed to have private practices, especially at the consultancy level, but they had to conduct their work professionally.

“Where a government medical practitioner is referring a patient to his private practice, please let us know so that appropriate disciplinary action can be taken,” he said.

Zimbabwe's health sector has been struggling with various challenges, including dilapidated infrastructure, poorly equipped public hospitals, shortage of essential medicines and low salaries for workers.

The poor quality of service in the public facilities has driven some patients to seek more expensive but better managed private medical care.

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