By Naam Alkhosi and Moutaz Ali.
Tripoli, 5 July 2014:
Zawia hospital shut its doors to all but emergency . . .[restrict]patients yesterday citing a massive logistical crisis as the reason for its closure.
Hospital administrator Mustafa Al-Afah told the Libya Herald that the hospital’s facilities and staff had been overwhelmed by an influx of patients from across the western region. He explained that 75 percent of the hospital’s patients had been arriving from outside Zawia and that the hospital’s long neglected equipment had not been able to cope.
Al-Afah said the hospital had been dealing with 50 births a day when it had the capacity for 35 only. He said most of the hospital’s facilities were no longer fit for purpose and much of its specialist equipment was beyond repair. He added that maintenance contracts signed in 2008 had only just been activated and would have little impact in the current circumstances.
One hospital staff member who did not want to be named said that anyone needing hospitalisation for more than two days was being directed elsewhere. “We’ll take only emergency case who don’t need to remain in hospital more than two days,” he divulged, adding that the two-day limit was even being enforced on women giving birth.
On Tuesday in an open letter to the Ministry of Health, administrators said they would not be able to cope unless the government intervened. The letter stated that all the hospital’s departments but especially its emergency and maternity wards had been hit hard by an acute shortage of medical supplies.
“We have suffered over the last six months from this shortage and have exhausted all the means and resources at our disposal,” the administrator said:
The hopital’s management rested the blame for the crisis squarely on the shoulders of the government saying it had ignored its requests.