Health advocates ask Malawi govt to stop hospital fees

Health advocates, who include the powerful Actionaid, Oxfam and Save the Children, are up in arms, asking the government to halt its decision to introduce paying wards in public district hospitals.

OXFAM Country Director, John Makina: Strong risk

In a joint statement, the 10 health advocates are expressing strong reservations about this latest attempt by the ministry of Health to generate more money for the health sector, arguing it will only further escalate health inequalities in Malawi.

Country director for Oxfam Malawi, John Makina says: “Any system where paying fees gives access to higher quality services, leaving lower quality for those who cannot afford to pay, is fundamentally inequitable.

“Oxfarm and other members of Malawi’s Universal Health Coverage (UHC) coalition argue there is a strong risk that patients who pay, will get prioritised over those who cannot afford to pay.

“In short-staffed hospitals, doctors and nurses may end up spending more time in paying wards and when there are shortages of drugs, the available drugs may be given to those patients who can pay.”

The statement says the government of Malawi has been conducting a dangerous experiment with out of pocket payments in recent years introducing bypass fees charged when accessing central hospitals without a referral and expanding fee paying wards in the same facilities.

The statement says despite government claims that fees will remain optional; situations where they are in effect compulsory are widespread.

“For example in Lilongwe city, which only has a few primary healthcare centres, people are often forced to seek health services directly at the central hospitals and then they have to pay the bypass fee,” says the health advocates.

The health advocates are therefore asking the government and development partners that introducing regressive health financing mechanisms and especially out of pocket payments is not an equitable way for the country to mobilise domestic resources.

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3 thoughts on “Health advocates ask Malawi govt to stop hospital fees”

  1. rose says:

    I support it, things will be free until when? Zaulere zitipha izi. Amalawi tulo

  2. Billy Chilewani says:

    It is high time we advocated paying serices for our public hospitals. At least a K500.00 consultation for
    Malawian ID holder and MK2000.00 for non Malawians. A Malawi mukuanamizira kusaukawo
    amatha kupereka chipondanthengo cha K1000 or more kwa traditional healer. Let’s wake up
    these free things are killing our economy. Let’s stop this stupid fertiliser subsidy… stop any subsidy
    which at the end of the day does not translate to national growth agenda. Social services has never
    developed any country. Wake up you so callled health advocates who hide behind the plight of poor
    Malawians!!

    1. MNDAMBALA BOY says:

      Inuso mukunamatu inu, muli ndi ID inu? inu amene muli ndi Ndalama zipitani ku Garden City!!! ife a Malawi tizibwila panodo yemweyu, ngakhale kulipilako ndizilipila Aspirin yemweyu? chita manyazi apa, siyani katangale!!!! Tsoka ilo ife zodwala talekako muzidwala nokha. Upanda chisoni ndi anthu osauka mwawapangawa bwanji? Malawi was a Warm Heart of Africa but now yerre!!

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