Chief Secretary pays Chiradzulu, Machinga Hospitals surprise visit: Urges management to prioritize patients’ needs

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.

Chief Secretary  Mkondiwa interacting with hospital officials pic by Evance Chisiano Mana

Chief Secretary Mkondiwa interacting with hospital officials pic by Evance Chisiano Mana

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.

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18 thoughts on “Chief Secretary pays Chiradzulu, Machinga Hospitals surprise visit: Urges management to prioritize patients’ needs”

  1. john says:

    Chief Secretary is visiting hospitals ngati ndani yet kuli a Minister?Izitu bwana Mkondiwa muotcha nazo Dzala ndi Minister ndithu

  2. Chingolopiyo says:

    Does it take the Chief Secretary to visit a District Hospital to change things? Where is the Minister of Health and its Officials? What modalities will the Chief Secretary have to present the findings to the Ministry of Health? Or may be there no loop holes in the Office of the President, so that the Chief Secretary is failing to get enough allowances and he has decided to draw allowances frm MoH

  3. James kotoki says:

    He is busy making money on allowance s and cheating Peale with empty promises

  4. I have no problem with the Chief Secretary as head of the civil service, visiting hospitals and other public institutions, to appreciate the problems on the ground in these financially challenging situations. My problem is with the approach. Why surprise visits, without even notifying the PS responsible and his senior officials? Is the intention to find faults or to help solve problems? It reminds me of the old time school inspectors. They were clearly on a fault-finding mission when they visited schools. Tey would even shout at the headmaster and teachers in the presence of pupils. Kodi zimenezi zilipobe in modern management practice? Bwana Chief Secretary needs to attend a refresher course at MIM.

    Secondly, having visited the hospitals, does he have an action plan that will help address the problems apart from the empty promises to the effect that he will look into the issues? Where is the MOH senior management and the Zonal office in all this? After the visit, does he intend to link up with the MOH structures to discuss and agree on a set of actions to improve the state of affairs? Otherwise, one gets the impression that he is simply politicking, he is doing this for the media, but not really to address the problems.

    By the way, where is the Ministry and the Zonal Office in all this. I would have expected that by now, they should have visited all districts to assess the situation and presented a comprehensive report to Government, including Mkondiwa on the exact situation on the ground. As it appears now, nobody in government seems to have a complete picture of how the financial situation is affecting health services, other than the piecemeal reports that we read about in the media. Is Government really on top of issues and in control?Mkondiwa’s actions speak volumes about Government’s understanding and capabilities to manage the crisis in the health sector. Clearly, Government is on a wild goose chase.

  5. bob says:

    This is a good thing to pay such surprise visits but he should warn none performers and not just appease them. In extreme cases of negligence, the Chief Secretary should initiate proceedings for dismissal for very negligent health workers.

  6. gober says:

    Job well done bwana CS..osati mabwana wongomaphwisa maofesi osapita ku field koma ma allowance mkumatenga mwezi ndi mwezi

  7. Jamison Chagwa Lungu says:

    Ma rubbish. Magufulification will not work here. Just budget enough resources for health.


    I for one deem these visits as useless in curbing misallocation of resources and the deliberate lack of priortisation of meagre resources by DHMT’s, more so, the one in Machinga. I would have raised a dual ‘thumbs up’ to
    you had it been your visits revealed the well known embezzlement of funds that has been an order of the day at Machinga DHO since the era of one Dr Mpunga up to now. Much as I’m not a health worker I do have pertinent info about what goes on there. If you may wish to be enlightened further link with me AT …… [email protected].

  9. Cholopi says:

    Machinga District hospital is not moving not coz of funds koma wrong priotise of funds.
    All hospitals nid physical auditing otherwise 70% of funds end in pockets of pipo

  10. advisory committee says:

    Congrats chief secretary good example

  11. No Laughing Matter says:

    Chief Secretary Chiradzulu hospital is one of the most corrupt in its accounting and procurement departments. People are owed money since 2008 yet those who supply later are paid. What you need is systems and the fact that many suppliers write their invoices in ink opens a lot of channels to abuse. Most likely the accountants write invoices to themselves and pay themselves. Government audit systems are poor you need independent private companies to do it for you so thieves can be caught or otherwise you will keep on visiting hospitals and the cash bucket keeps on leaking.

  12. Malawian!!! says:

    Mmmmmmh! Intimidation, even in the shop. He thinks he can get attention of everybody when he has arrived at a place not knowing that some of us does care who is who. We have seen people coming and going loosing the status quo, you better be careful. I’m not a civil servant, lol!

  13. Nancy says:

    Good but do this to audit funds money is stolen through food as well. Amalipila suppliers two or three times for the same order and share the un supplied money given.

  14. Jembe says:

    Make the surprise visits if you have solutions, otherwise it is a waste of time and resources. Clueless bunch of people!

  15. Gadabwali says:

    Who is supposed to do these surprise visits to healthy institutions, the minister of health or the chief secretary to the government? Reminds me of what a Chiuye ndi a Mhone said on Galaxy radio’s political segment programme kuti anthu omuzungulira APM sakumuthandiza, akungodya ma allowance. I thought the first visit to Ntcheu and Balaka district hospitals by the chief secretary was a wake up call to the minister of health to awake from his slumber? Ayi ndithu, ali phwii ngati akuphwisa! Anyway, kudos to the chief secretary. Next time please pay surprise visits to District Education offices, mwachulukanso dzibwana.

  16. Truck says:


  17. The Commenter says:

    U don’t need surprise visit to know the kind of problems facing our hospitals and next time tell the minister of health to do that not the whole chief secretary…

  18. Shyman wa fedulo says:

    No need for the ao called surprise visits. Musatengelw za Magufuli. Ndinu wokanika,. Just provide enough funds to tje health sector.

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