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Temeke hospital pulls in health centres staff

10th March 2012
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A Temeke district hospital doctor in Dar es Salaam, who preferred anonymity, attends to an out-patient yesterday. According to a survey conducted in three hospitals of Temeke, Amana and Muhimbili National Hospital, only emergency cases were being attended to.(Photo: Selemani Mpochi)

In a bid to lessen impact of the doctors’ strike in Dar es Salaam, Temeke referral hospital yesterday brought in 12 assistant medical officers from different municipal health centres to attend to patients.

Joyce Msumba, the Temeke Hospital Public Relation Officer said the medical assistants who came from Vitimbweni, Rangi Tatu, Kigamboni, Kizuiani, Buza and one from the Tuberculosis (TB) centre and AIDS department will concentrate on the pediatric and maternity wards which are sensitive.

“We have decided to find doctors from various places to assist our patients because, we can’t handle the situation with the few doctors not on strike,” said Msumba.

A survey conducted by The Guardian at the hospital noted a decrease in the number of patients coming to the hospital for medical services.

This paper asked a man sitting on a wheelchair if he had been attended to and his wife responded: “My husband is diabetic. His leg was cut so we just came to dress his wound, but nurses told us that there were no services especially for outpatients…we have decided to go back home,” she said.

Two other women carrying an infant were heard murmuring: “What shall we do with this child. He has very high fever …. Let’s go back home. We have been here for hours now without getting any service.”

Amana hospital was almost deserted. Only a few patients were seated at the OPD area, with no hope of seeing any doctor.

The Guardian team saw no doctors in the wards, with reports saying that some of the admitted patients were discharged by nurses.

“We better go back home. Staying here without doctors around will not be of any help,” said one of the patients coming out of the ward.

A number of patients seeking services at Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute (MOI) could not be attended to by the few doctors who did not join the strike.

 

Patients who had appointments were seen eagerly waiting to see if they could at least be informed whether they would be attended to. 

 

Doctors attended to serious cases only.

Some of the patients found at the hospital waiting to be attended to, cautioned the government to urgently do what it takes to end the strike in a way that no innocent lives are lost.

Neither the MNH management nor the MOI’s Public Relations Officer was available to comment on the situation with their office doors locked and mobile phones switched off.

The number of patients going to public hospitals dropped drastically on Thursday as the doctors’ strike entered its second day, paralysing services at Muhimbili National Hospital and other referral hospitals.

The Medical Association of Tanzania chairman Dr Namala Mkopi said on Wednesday that doctors had resolved to call a countrywide strike after the government failed to heed their call to remove Minister for Health and Social Welfare Dr Hadji Mponda and his deputy Dr Lucy Nkya.

The government on Tuesday defended Dr Mponda and Dr Nkya saying they were still new in the government and thus had nothing to do with the doctors’ problems.

“We have waited for long for the minister and his deputy to be sacked, since this issue doesn’t need a budget but decision,” said Mkopi, stressing that they will only resume work after the minister and his deputy resign or are fired.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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