This month, Canadian bush doctor Dr. Paul Thistle joined the surgical team at Karanda Hospital, a few hours’ drive from the troubled Howard Hospital. And with him come international funds.

Dr. Paul Thistle (left) was abruptly fired and told to leave Zimbabwe by the leaders of the Salvation Army in the African country. Here he stands with Langley Rotarian Katy Loewen and her son who visited Howard Hospital in 2011. (Photo: Langley Times)

After having to put money raised for Howard Hospital on hold after turmoil there, Canadian Langley Rotary clubs in British Columbia are ready to send the $57,642 they raised to Karanda.

“The last four months of 2012 certainly was a tumultuous period for our Rotary effort in Zimbabwe,” said Langley Rotarian Dr. Brendan Martin who founded International Health Langley — a fundraising arm of the Rotary Clubs that help hospitals in poor nations.

Thistle gave up a lucrative career in Canada and dedicated 16 years as the chief doctor at Howard Hospital when he was fired in August.

“His strict adherence to proper accountability and ethical principles resulted in an impasse,” said Martin.

Thistle was abruptly fired and told to leave the country by the leadership of the Salvation Army there.

Thistle questioned the leaders over fundraising dollars and where the  money was going. “The Salvation Army leadership wants all the money raised to pass through their bank accounts in Harare. There was a pattern of the money not arriving at the hospital or arriving late,” said Martin in August.

Thistle was being punished for being a good steward of those funds, he said.

Thistle refused to leave the country, but couldn’t return to Howard Hospital.

“Unfortunately Howard Hospital has imploded since his removal and is only functioning at a small fraction of its former level,” said Martin recently.

The $57,642 will purchase the medical equipment and medicines originally intended for Howard Hospital, confirmed Martin.

“It’s a well-run hospital,” he said of Karanda.

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