The United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) has partnered with Zimbabwe Orthopaedic Trust to set up a multi-million-dollar orthopaedic centre that will sustainably provide orthopaedic and corrective surgery to disadvantaged children up to the age of 18 years.
The centre will be housed at the Robbie Gibson Hospital site.
The venture has received praise from the Ministry of Health and Child Care, which toured the facility Wednesday and was impressed with UBH’s ‘successful’ public private partnership (PPPs).
Briefing officials from the Ministry of Health and Child Care who included Permanent Secretary Dr Agnes Mahomva, UBH Chief Executive Officer, Nonhlanhla Ndlovu, confirmed the trust will provide up to two specialist surgeons to offer quality care.
“The new hospital would provide essential corrective orthopaedic and reconstructive surgery services to children with physical impairment at a subsidised or free cost,” she said.
The CEO said the trustees included Neil Brown, a UK based Independent Venture Capital and Private Equity Professional; Professor Chris Lavy, UK based professor of Orthopaedic and Tropical Surgery and Consultant Orthopaedic and Spine Surgeon at the University of Oxford; Dr Victor Nakah, a Bulawayo based Senior Vice President at CURE International, Collen Masanure, a Bulawayo based Orthopaedic Surgeon at Heart Department of Surgery/ Head of Department of Orthopaedics at UBH and herself.
The total cost of the project is US$2.5 million, where US$1.5 million was spent on the construction and refurbishment while the other US$1 million was used to purchase equipment.
“In 30 to 40 years, the Zimbabwe Orthopaedic Trust, will transfer hospital site back to UBH and was responsible for the building, management and operations of the hospital in accordance with the terms of a Concession agreement entered with UBH,” Ndlovu said.
After touring the orthopaedic centre, the permanent secretary was delighted that UBH had entered into a fruitful partnership that will serve the community.
“This demonstrates that we can in fact go into partnerships and do it correctly. Many a times we hear that PPS that are not working or they are a waste of time and the general population is not served. But from what the CEO told us, clearly defining how they entered in such and that these are trustees have a free service in terms they have on worked on, it is fantastic work,” Dr Mahomva said.
The permanent secretary said the equipment that was brought to the orthopaedic centre was solid and in good quality, which meant it could last a long time and importantly bring confidence to people.
“This is an example of partnerships that we are looking for. Many a times when we talk of partnerships we tend to look at those that are not working but we want to focus on those that are working. Let’s take some notes to make sure that we actually talk with those trustees that they partnered with to say, can we roll this out now to serve all our central hospitals,” she said.
Dr Mahomva said the orthopaedic centre would start operating “very soon” although it was still putting in equipment.
“UBH indicated that instead of wasting time, hoping that the whole facility is equipped they will do that in phases and when they manage to have one of the theatres well equipped, there’s absolutely no reason to wait for a grandiose opening with all facilities working but will start seeing patients immediately. I can’t give you an opening date as such but I am saying that is aim to see people, not have a display and once ready, UBH will do just that,” summed the permanent secretary.