SA a destination of choice for ailing Zimbabweans

Hospital Doctors Association (HDA) leader, Peter Magombeyi

Hospital Doctors Association (HDA) leader, Peter Magombeyi. File photo

from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) THE move by the leader of a union representing Zimbabwean medical doctors to seek specialist treatment outside the country is the latest testament of the collapse of Zimbabwe’s once-vibrant health sector.

Dr Peter Magombeyi, the leader of Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association, who was recently kidnapped by suspected state security agents, seeks functional brain imaging and toxicological evaluation in neighbouring South Africa.

This is after he suffered possible physical harm and psychological trauma during his abduction and alleged torture.

The Zimbabwean High Court has ordered Magombeyi’s evacuation to South Africa after police had initially blocked the move after deploying some officers to guard the entrance at a local clinic where he has been detained.

It is believed Magombeyi’s kidnapping is linked to his leading an industrial strike by medical doctors over poor working conditions.

His seeking of treatment in South Africa is an indication of the decline of Zimbabwe’s health services.

The kidnapping of government critics and the comatose health services are the legacies of former president, Robert Mugabe, who died at a Singapore hospital earlier this month.

Mugabe’s policies are blamed for scuttling investment into the country, with the health sector not spared, and doctors leaving Zimbabwe in droves in search of greener pastures.

Zimbabwean hospitals lack basics such as drugs and medicines.

Mugabe spent the later part of his 37-year reign from 1980 seeking treatment in Asian countries.

Current Vice President, Constantino Chiwenga, who masterminded the coup that ousted Mugabe, has been in China to treat an undisclosed ailment.

Prior receiving treatment in China, Chiwenga was in South Africa. Also, another second deputy president Kembo Mohadi recently sought treatment in South Africa with several government ministers, top security officials and those well connected.

Former Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai died from colon cancer at a South African hospital in 2018.

– CAJ News

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