Mumbwa residents have complained about poor services obtaining at the District Hospital pharmacy which remains closed throughout the weekend forcing patients to go without treatment.
In an interview yesterday, some residents complained that patients were given prescriptions to buy drugs but there were no medicines in local chemists.
Charles Kabonde said it was disappointing that the hospital pharmacy remained closed throughout the weekend resulting in patients going without drugs.
“When you go to the hospital on Saturday, you will not be given medicines, instead you are given a prescription to buy these at the local drug store where the drugs are either not there or are unaffordable. It is very inconveniencing because some people don’t have money and come from far off places around Mumbwa” he said.
He explained that it was unacceptable for a district hospital pharmacy to close at the weekend close when the hospital operated 24 hours a day.
He said sometimes the drug stores too remained closed at the weekend which meant that patients went without drugs until Monday.
And Mumbwa Member of Parliament Dr Brian Chituwo has accused the hospital administration of failing to manage the hospital pharmacy because it was under-stocked.
Dr. Chituwo said hospital administrators have ‘silently’ directed that the pharmacy should be closed and prescriptions be issued as a result to avoid people from knowing that there were no drugs at the institution.
“The information I have gathered is that due to inadequate medical stocks at the health institution, the administrators have decided to be closing the pharmacy as a way of saving face and people knowing the actual situation,” he said.
He said the hospital had a large catchment area which included places as far as Sibuyunji and Itezhi Tezhi and it was very costly for patients to add drugs to their expenses.
“Some people just can’t afford to buy the medicines and this affects their condition which gets worse off without treatment,” Dr. Chituwo explained.
He said most chemists in the area were lowly-stocked and in most cases with uncertified drugs.
He has since appealed to the Ministry of Health to address drug stocks in major health facilities in the country to improve operations of pharmacies and other medical departments in delivering quality healthcare to the people.