20 September 2018
Government hospitals are popular for high nurse-patient ratios and nurses with bad attitude resulting in many resorting to private hospitals for quality care.
While the rot has become normal at these institutions with some nurses complaining of the high ratios, Harare Central Hospital new Chief Executive Officer Nyasha Masuku is determined to carry out an ‘operation restore legacy’.
“We have started working on our ratios where we are currently looking at bed occupancies because we have some wards that are almost always full and some that are almost always empty and as such we are looking at rationalising the distribution of staff.”
The entire staff compliment at the hospital currently stands at 3000 whereas of the number, eight percent are nurses and doctors.
Against the ever high numbers that are admitted at the hospital daily, the recommended ratio of 1: 4 seems almost impossible.
“We are short staffed; we have 49 specialists posts consultancy with only 22 filed at the moment and 19 on advertisement though we employed about 150 nurses recently which partially relieved the shortages in some of the areas.
“As we work towards achieving balancing ratios, what really determines the ratios is the type of illness or the conditions that are in the ward like surgical wards need more nurses because changing the dressings takes a lot unlike in the medicines wards.
For the eight dispensing points at the hospital, there are only ten pharmacists and the CEO said there is urgent need for the figures to be tripled.
Masuku criticised the bad behavior popular with hospital staff declaring that figures should not affect staff conduct.
“While we are still working on figures, it is not only the numbers that matter but above everything it is the attitude that has the loudest voice.
Masuku revealed that there has been some worrying trends on staff behaviours that called for urgent attention.
“While some are hardworking and committed coming to work every day, some portray very bad behavior which includes not showing up to work while others are always late and we have several complains as well from patients about the treatment they have received from our staff.”
The CEO said such characters should not tarnish the image of the entire fraternity.
“We are working on the issue of improving these attitudes and commitment which will in turn improve the quality of care we give.
“We are crafting ways of reducing counterproductive behavior and the culprits will be dealt with as individuals.”