Leader of opposition in Parliament, Lazarus Chakwera, has been accused to have “misinformed” the nation on Monday when he told Parliament that the CT scanner at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) has been down for eight months.
Chakwera was responding to President Peter Mutharika’s statement during the opening of the 46th session of Parliament which was presented last week.
Information from authorities at KCH indicates that the said machine is up and running after proper repairs.
“The CT scanner at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) which was down for about eleven weeks is now up and running. It was fixed on September 27, 2015 by the hospital staff (radiographers and biomedical engineers) in collaboration with Haukeland University,” said a doctor at the hospital .
The scanner broke down on July 4, not eight months ago as Chakwera put it, and was supposed to be fixed by Medical Consultants Africa (MCA) Ltd which is owned by Lilongwe City Central legislator, David Bisnowaty.
Despite relinquishing responsibility at the helm of the company since last May when he won his seat, Bisnowaty is the one who negotiates for contracts and pushes for payments of the company at the Ministry of Health.
Upon producing a quotation of $6,560.71 (approximately K3.6 million) for spare parts and K720,000 for labour, MCA Ltd changed tune soon after receiving a Local Purchasing Order.
According to the sources, Bisnowaty started demanding previous arrears accumulated from previous jobs his company carried out for the ministry before his company could attend to the scanner.
Despite pleas from hospital authorities to have the scanner fixed while the previous payment was being attended to by Capital Hill, MCA Ltd management put their foot down and exposed patients to unavailability of service.
Few lucky patients were referred to CMED Clinic which is owned by MCA Ltd creating a situation which exposes clear conflict of interest.
Meanwhile, at CMED patients are charged K100,000 per scan.
As this was happening, an expatriate radiographer on an exchange program from Norway contacted her friends in Europe to decipher the meaning of error messages that were displaying on the scanner console.
When feedback from Norway came, it was established that contrary to MCA Ltd’s assertions the scanner did not need any spare part but just an IT solution.
Efforts to speak to MCA Ltd officials proved futile as they all referred the matter to Bisnowaty.
The parliamentarian, however, could not immediately comment.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :