News / Health

Hospital engages debt collectors to recover money owed by patients

by Midlands Correspondent
07 Feb 2013 at 05:20hrs | 2091 Views
GWERU Provincial Hospital has enlisted the services of debt collectors in an effort to recover more than $500 000 it is owed by patients, an official has said.

In an interview yesterday, the hospital's medical superintendent, Dr Fabian Mashingaidze said the majority of patients who owed the health institution were mothers who would have just given birth.

He said the majority of patients were being discharged from hospital before settling their bills resulting in the hospital accruing $500 000 in unpaid bills.

"The majority of our patients have not been paying anything for their treatment and admission to the hospital. We are now owed more than $500 000 by our patients, who have just been walking into the hospital to receive treatment and leaving without paying anything.

"Some of the patients in arrears are delivering mothers and other patients who would have been admitted to our hospital," he said.

Dr Mashingaidze said the hospital was now sending letters to patients, who owed the institution, reminding them of their obligation to pay.

He, however, said the exercise was having very little effect.

Dr Mashingaidze said the hospital has engaged debt collectors in a bid to recover its money from patients.

"We have since advertised in the press indicating that we are seeking the services of debt collectors, as we feel our clients are not willing to pay. We normally do not want to engage debt collectors, as we want our clients to come up with payment plans, but all our previous efforts to try and persuade them to pay were not bearing any fruits," he said.

Dr Mashingaidze said the institution was struggling to restock its drugs and repair some of the equipment owing to some financial constraints.

"Gweru Provincial Hospital is a referral hospital for the Midlands Province and obviously we need to make sure that our equipment is serviced every now and then. We also need to keep checks on drug stocks, but if we are owed something above $500 000, as is the case, it becomes very difficult to operate," he said.

Source - Hospital,Debt collectors,Patients