Maputo — Beira central hospital, the largest health unit in Sofala province, currently owes its suppliers about 80 million meticais (around 1.2 million US dollars, at current exchange rates), according to a report in the daily paper “Diario de Mocambique”.
The hospital director, Nelson Mucopo, explained that the debt gradually built up, as the hospital found itself unable to pay bills for many crucial items, including water, electricity or rent for doctors' houses.
The debt is much larger than the hospital's 2017 budget for goods and services, which is only 38 million meticais. Mucopo said the hospital is seriously worried at the situation, since there are now some companies which are refusing to provide any further services to the hospital until it clears all or part of its debt to them.
“I must tell you frankly that we fall into debt because the budget we receive is not enough to pay for everything”, Mucopo told the paper. “For example, this year's budget only allows us to buy food for the patients until June. From then on, I don't know how we're going to live”.
To try and keep key suppliers happy, the hospital has been using this year's budget to pay off old debts. Mucopo said the 38 million meticais for goods and services meets only 26 per cent of the hospital's needs.
“Managing the needs of the hospital has not been easy”, he added. “When you come in here, you leave with your head full of worries”.
He appealed to private investors, Beira civil society and people of good will to regard the hospital as “the house of everyone”, and to provide it with more support.
“We are open to receive any support”, said Mucopo. “All institutions and individuals who want to help us will be welcome. This is our house, and one day or another anyone can be here. Anyone who wants to help us in the component of rehabilitating the hospital will also be welcomed, because we want a better Central Hospital for all of us”.
Beira Central Hospital was designed for 600 patients - but the demand is such that currently it is operating with 1,020 beds.