Bulawayo's Mpilo hospital has angered patients through charging them consultation fees when they were still not receiving any medical services due to the ongoing strike action by doctors.
Some patients and relatives who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com expressed their disappointment over the unpopular move by the government hospital.
"My son was referred at the clinic to Mpilo hospital for further medical attention. I was asked to pay $8 consultation at the reception.
"When I went to the consultation room with my receipt, nurses told me that I could not be attended to because doctors are on strike," said Chioniso Marondedzero.
She said while it was common knowledge that doctors were on strike, she expected the hospital to inform patients beforehand about the non-availability of services they were looking for.
"What is the rationale of making patients pay consultation fees when there are no doctors? What the hospital is doing is cheating clients," she added.
Another patient who refused to be named said she also paid consultation fees but did not receive any services.
"I was referred to Mpilo for my condition. I was made to pay a consultation fee but I did not get any service at the hospital.
"I believe a consultation fee is meant for paying the services of consulting a doctor but that did not happen," said the patient.
The Hospital's Chief Executive Officer, Leonard Mabande recently admitted things were getting worse at Mpilo as senior doctors have also gone on strike in solidarity with their junior colleagues, some of who have been sacked by government for embarking on what has been declared by the courts as an illegal job action.
Mpilo is currently relying on doctors seconded to the institution by the uniformed forces.
The doctors went on strike on beginning of September this year to press for a review in their wages and working conditions.