A severe shortage of certain critical drugs has hit Masvingo General Hospital, compromising health delivery to thousands of people who rely on the institution.
The hospital has reportedly been failing to dispense drugs such as antibiotics and pain killers. This has forced patients to turn to private pharmacies and clinics.
Some of the patients on Thursday said they were being told that the hospital pharmacy had run out of stocks, especially antibiotics, such as amoxicillin and pain killers. They said they were being advised to look for the drugs at private pharmacies where prices are beyond the reach of many.
"I brought my critically ill brother to the hospital (Masvingo General Hospital) in the morning today (yesterday) and he got a prescription to take some antibiotics but I could not buy them here because there are out of stock. I now have to run around and look for some money so that I can buy at private pharmacies," said Mr Israel Kandemiri from Mucheke.
Masvingo provincial medical director, Dr Robert Mudyiradima confirmed the shortage of drugs especially pain killers and antibiotics but said the problem was being rectified.
"It is true that there was a shortage of some drugs especially antibiotics and painkillers and the problem was caused by NatPharm which had cut supplies to us over a long standing debt but we have since rectified the problem and drugs are already coming in and the situation will improve," he said.
He however, could not divulge how much Masvingo General Hospital owed NatPharm for drug supplies.