By Lubalethu Ndlovu
The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has refuted reports that it has reviewed upwards consultation fees at its clinics.
There were reports circulating that the fees had increased by 100%.
Currently, children pay ZWL$5 and adults ZW$10.
Speaking during a full council meeting, Ward 17 councillor Sikhululekile Moyo assured residents that consultation fees in their clinics have not been reviewed yet.
“The consultation fee in our clinics have not been increased and before we increase the residents will be notified first before we proceed,” said Cllr Moyo.
She added that there were discussions to adjust the fees by 42% although that was still to be ratified.
Meanwhile, Ward 10 Cllr Donaldson Mabutho raised concerns on the poor services in council clinics.
“We have nurses who take 2 hours long tea breaks whilst patients are waiting to be attended and that is unrealistic,” he said.
Ward 19 councillor Clayton Zana said service was slow at most council clinics due to staff shortages.
“We need to understand the numbers in the ground when it comes to service delivery and in this case our clinics are short staffed,” he said.
Cllr Zana proposed that the local authority should hire more nurse aides to ease the orkload on the nurses.
Ward 1 Councillor Mlandu Ncube noted that residents were abusing the senior citizen privilege which allows them to receive preferential treatment when they seek services at council clinics.
“Our policy states that senior citizens range from 65 years and only a few visit our clinics, so all these people who are complaining want us to reduce the range so that they can also qualify and we will not do that,” said Cllr Ncube.
The local authority runs 19 clinics and one hospital, the Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital.