HomeLettersA carer's ordeal at the hands of social welfare department

A carer’s ordeal at the hands of social welfare department

Editor – EXTREME frustration is being experienced through the utter incompetence of certain sections of the Department of Social Welfare due to their apparent inability to provide the public with the necessary forms at the opening of the New Year.

Is this the usual civil s

ervice’s lack of care, or just incompetence?
 
Obviously the department does not consider that some people could die or lose jobs due to their clerks’ inability to properly execute their duties.

A lady I know is taking care of an Aids orphan, thrown out by his  elder brothers at the age of six.
 
He is now 11 years old and going to school, but needs special care to overcome the trauma and infection wrought by parental irresponsibility.

On February 4, his carer went to Parirenyatwa Hospital to get a repeat prescription for drugs which he had been on for several months, and are considered necessary for him to live.
 
A clerk noticed that the department had registered the child in Chitungwiza and the result — no pills because of the wrong form! Do they not have telephones or know how to use them?

The carer had to incur additional expenses on transport to Chitungwiza. All necessary forms — birth certificate, letters etc, were produced for the welfare officer but they had no forms, some several weeks into the New Year, effectively meaning there was to be no pills.

How many more innocent souls are to suffer through clerical incompetence?

On February 28, some three weeks after spending more money on transport, losing working time and getting even more frustration, forms were finally obtained. This was, however, not the end to the tale of woe.

On leaving work at 10am the following day for Parirenyatwa to collect the drugs, she was told that the forms, consultation and admission were for free, save for the drugs for out-patients.
 
I was left wondering why people are tossed from one queue to another, as a process which should have taken an hour at the most, took an entire working day.

The carer finally paid $209 000 for the drugs which she could ill-afford as she is raising and educating this child on a domestic worker’s wage.

This ordeal raises plenty of concerns:

* Why do we pay an Aids levy?

* When are African women going to be considered as part of the workforce, whose time is valuable and should not be wasted? 

* Offices should have clear signs directing patients/clients to the proper places for their desired services;

* Why bother to go to doctors who prescribe drugs which obviously do not get to the public sector hospitals, but find their way to the private sector?

* How are these medicines being distributed and by whom? Are the Government Medical Stores involved in distribution, and can they account for the drugs they issue? and

* Who else supplies Aids drugs and why are they so expensive?


DJ Barker,
Harare.

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