SCORES of cancer patients seeking treatment at public health facilities are getting a raw deal due to a shortage of radiotherapy equipment, it has emerged.
BY PHYLIS MBANJE
Patients have raised concerns about the inadequate machinery, which is always overwhelmed by the huge numbers of patients seeking treatment and are constantly breaking down.
At Mpilo Central hospital there is one functional machine, while the other one is yet to be installed.
Mpilo clinical director Solwayo Ngwenya said although the machine was working, the challenge was its maintenance, which was expensive.
The machine only resumed operations in 2016 after lying idle for 17 years.
“We need forex for the upkeep of the machine, which should be serviced regularly for efficiency,” Ngwenya said.
“But due to shortages of foreign currency, at times it takes long for the process.”
As for the other machine, which has been lying idle, Ngwenya said they were working on ensuring that it is operational so that patients could benefit.
At Parirenyatwa Hospital some of the radiotherapy equipment broke down.
“This is compounded by challenges of access to foreign currency to import the expertise [to repair machinery],” the hospital’s public relations officer, Linos Dhire, said.
“We are optimistic that the engineers whom we have engaged from Switzerland and South Africa will arrive any time to repair the equipment.”