By MATHEWS NDANDULA
BAILIFFS yesterday pounced on TMS hospital in Lusaka over K18 million outstanding debt owed to First Capital Bank and evicted several critically ill patients and moved them to other health facilities.
A check by the Daily Nation found the place completely deserted and the guard on duty confirmed that the hospital had been closed.
The hospital was last week threatened with closure and given a three day ultimatum following the eviction of staff that included doctors that were operating at the said hospital and yesterday almost a week after the first attempt the hospital has been closed.
Speaking at the scene earlier, board chairman of TMS hospital, Elias Mpondela disclosed that the bailiffs were acting on behalf of First Capital Bank who own the building.
“Yes we have been evicted not that we got a loan as TMS hospital and failed to pay no but it’s because there was a loan that MKP got from the bank and what we hear is that they got about K18 million and because of economic challenges they chose to vacate the premises.
“This hospital is ready to continue being in this building and we are ready to pay any amount so that we continue saving lives of people. We tried to talk to the bank because when we took over from MKP we have been paying rent as TMS. So we should not be pushed as tenants, what happened in the past was between the bank and MKP. Us, we have been paying and we are ready all we want is to save the lives of these patients.
“Look at what is happening patients are now panicking because for them to be transferred to another facility there are some little things that needs to be done such as the change of doctors, file movements and it’s really something else,” Mpondela said.
And some medical officers that were asked as to where the patients were going, revealed that some would be transferred to Coptic hospital.
By press time First Capital bank had not responded to a query.
By MATHEWS NDANDULA