MNAZI Mmoja ‘Referral’ Hospital has been facing shortage of oxygen for the past two days, while scarcity of medicines has bedevilled the medical centre for a long time, inconveniencing patients. “Mnazi Mmoja Hospital does not qualify to be a referral hospital because it does not even have doctors on call, and the situation in orthopaedic and emergency units is disappointing due to lack of a surgeon,” Mr Jaku Hashim Ayoub (CCM-Muyuni) complained and asked why services at the main hospital were bad.

Mr Mahmoud Thabit Kombo, Deputy Minister for Health responded by admitting shortage of oxygen, blaming insufficient budget for the operations at the hospital. “For example, we only buy 240 containers of oxygen from Dar es Salaam which is insufficient,” he said. The Deputy Minister also said that Zanzibar with a population of more than 1.3 million people has only two qualified surgeons, but “we hope in the near future to have more surgeons.

” Mr Kombo said that they need to construct oxygen tank as a permanent solution to the shortage, but the project cannot take off because of lack of funds, for example the health sector requires at least 120bn/- but we have been given 84bn/-.

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