20 November 2017

Zimbabwe: Avenues Clinic to Set Up World Class Maternity Facility

PREMIER healthcare provider, The Avenues Clinic, intends to set up a world class maternity facility in Harare at a cost of approximately $18 million, as it seeks to diversify revenue streams.

The Avenues Clinic, established in 1983, is the flagship hospital of Medical Investments Limited, which also runs St Clements and Montagu Clinics in the capital.

Sources told The Herald Business that the project would see The Avenues Clinic transforming its sister clinic, Montagu, into a special maternity facility.

The project had been on the cards for the past five years, but funding constraints have hampered the rolling out of the project.

It is understood that the company is considering various capital raising initiatives including offshore loans from regional financial institutions and a rights offer.

The Herald Business also understands that a local venture capital has pledged to underwrite the rights offer.

"The project has been on the cards for the past five years, but it has been difficult to raise capital," said a reliable source on condition of anonymity.

"It will be an entity completely separated from other health provisions provided by The Avenues offering world class maternity services.

"Some tours have been made in South Africa where the management undertook some familiarisation tours at facilities similar to what The Avenues intends to set up and everything seems to be going on well."

No comment could be obtained from Medial Investment Limited chairman, Mr Pearson Chitando, as his mobile phone was unreachable.

The Avenues was started as a private maternity clinic.

A consortium of business leaders saw it prudent to expand the hospital into a multi-faceted institution that would complement existing facilities.

The multidisciplinary hospital offers a range of premium specialist services, modern facilities, high-tech equipment as well as reputable nursing care.

Despite the prevailing economic challenges obtaining in the country dramatised by liquidity challenges, The Avenues has in recent months spent about $2 million on revamping its equipment to maintain its top notch service.

The group has also embarked on cost cutting measures to remain competitive.

Recently, The Avenues confirmed it was investigating suspected procurement irregularities involving senior executives feared to have heavily prejudiced the clinic financially.

The irregularities involved possible improper conduct on procurement by former and current senior executives and managers.

Sources close to the investigations said the hospital could have "lost significant" amounts of money through irregular procurement of equipment and various consumables, done through some third parties.

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