Chief Secretary to the Government continues to storm public hospitals without notice. Barely days after taking hospital officials by surprise at Ntcheu and Balaka district hospitals respectively, George Mkondiwa has also paid another unannounced visit, this time to Chiradzulu and Machinga hospitals.
During the visit on Monday, Mkondiwa was among other things briefed of low funding, transport problems and low stocks of food. He then assured the district hospitals of government’s commitment to ensure that operations return to normal as regards to food and medicine dispensation among other costs.
The low food stocks has compelled hospital authorities to be providing patients with only two meals per day, a situation Mkondiwa labelled unacceptable.
“It is unfortunate that our brothers and sisters on sick-beds should be receiving only breakfast and late lunch at the expense of their health. Government is doing all it can to restore normal dietary programs for our patients and guardians,” he made the assurance.
Upon arrival at the 322-bed facility in Machinga, Mkondiwa was met by among other officials, the hospital administrator, district nursing officer, hospital accountant and other senior hospital officials who briefed him on hospitals financial status which is worsened by unsettled debts, low funding.
The hospital officials said the facility is allocated K174 million a months as Other Recurrent Transaction (ORT) which is not sufficient as compared to previous ORT which was at K220 million. In November the hospital only received K15 million for operations.
“We are failing to provide three meals a day,” Principal Health Services Administrator, Rotina Mlombwa said as Machinga District Hospital is struggling to settle debts dating back to 2008.
Currently only one ambulance is operating thus serving 20 health centres which are under the Machinga District Hospital with the farthest health centre located 102 kilometres away.
According to Mlombwa, all the ambulances are down except the one donated by Vale Logistics at the time the company was rehabilitating a railway line from Moatize to Nacala which passes behind the hospital.
After listening to the briefing and appreciating the predicament that the hospital is in, Mkondiwa urged the management to always set priorities right whenever funding arrives albeit meagre.
“Let’s look around our budget and critically look at our arrears,” he said after he was told of unsettled debts dating back to 2008.
Mkondiwa therefore appealed to well wishers to complement government efforts to improve the current situation in most of the public hospitals in the country.
He promised the Machinga District hospital that he will do a follow up on issues of funding, drugs, transportations, medical staff and other issues that need urgent attention.
The Chief Secretary commended Machinga District Hospital staff for being committed to their duty despite financial and other logistic challenges.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :