Norton legislator Temba Mliswa has accused the MDC Alliance dominated Norton Town Council (NTC) of holding onto Norton Hospital and using it as a cash cow despite their failure to run the institution in recent years.
The facility has been facing multiple challenges in servicing the ballooning town population which is currently estimated to be nearly 100 000.
Initially the health institution was built for a population of around 40 000 but the town population has grown since the 2012 census that pegged it at just above 60 000.
In 2018 Health Minister Dr. Obadiah Moyo toured Norton and urged the local authorities to write to government if they wished it to take over the facility.
That has however not happened with Mliswa alleging that the town authorities are corruptly benefiting from the hospital whilst the local population suffers.
“Norton Hospital needs to be handed over to government so that it can benefit from the various forms of assistance that would be due to it as a government facility”.
“NTC has failed to run it as the standards have fallen whilst the population of Norton has grown beyond the initial target that was meant to catered for by the hospital”, he said.
The officials who met with Health Minister Dr. Obadiah Moyo during his tour of health facilities in 2018 stated that the hospital could no longer manage the huge population of the town.
“The population of Norton has grown whilst the facility was initially built for a targeted population of 40 000” said Dr Tungamira Mhuka acting CEO.
Mliswa questioned the use of holding onto the institution when it wasn’t benefitting the local community unless they was someone benefitting.
“Norton Town Council has no capacity whatsoever to run that hospital. Former Minister of Health Dr Parirenyatwa had agreed to deal with this issue. Government must take over now”.
“We cannot be playing games about it being a cash cow, misappropriate that money again, we have got to move”, he said.
The legislator is on record accusing the Councilors and NTC management of being both corrupt and inefficient.
Besides the facility Norton also has Katanga Utano Clinic and a Roman Catholic facility, St Padre Pio, as alternatives for health assistance.
The macro economic situation has however negatively affected the provision of services by the community a situation that could get worse in 2020 following a hike in charges for medicals by government.