Now Daily Investigation
Doctors in Bulawayo are demanding bribes of thousands of dollars from chronically ill patients if they want to go into surgery, Now Daily investigations have confirmed.
Nurses at United Bulawayo Hospitals confirmed the scandal. One of the nurses, whom we cannot name, travelled 500 kilometres to give Now Daily the story, saying she feared for her life if she ever was found to be our source.
“If you don’t have money they just let you die,” the nurse said.
She said there was an official list and a ‘queue’ for people lined up for surgery.
“Many times you find that people who are not on the list are already in the operating theatre. These people would have paid the doctors,” said the source.
The sources said the doctors targeted rich people or those with well-to-do relatives.
“Middle-aged males requiring surgery for prostate cancer are a favourite of the bribery doctors. The doctors demand bribes of up to $4 000 for such cases. Those who cannot pay cash are asked to surrender cattle,” said the nurse.
Sources in Bulawayo said many government doctors were also running private surgeries where they met the clients but used state facilities to carry out the surgical operations. The doctors also regularly instigated strikes in order to attract business to their private practices. Doctors who worked during strikes also demanded bribes from patients, the sources said.
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