Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) says its services in rural areas is being compromised by government failure to repay a debt of K400 million for two years now.
CHAM chairman Father Peter Mulomole said this on Wednesday in Mangochi at the start of the organisation’s annual general meeting.
Mulomole said there was an agreement, especially where there are no public hospitals to let people use some services at CHAM hospitals like maternity services for free so that the government could pay to CHAM what is known as user fees.
“This debt goes back as far as two years back, it has been cumulating over the years. Some hospitals have now completely abandoned this service, others are charging fees now,” said Mulomole.
CHAM hits 50 years next year and Mulomole said there are some challenges facing CHAM hospitals, saying most of their hospitals are in rural areas where it is hard for people to pay for services due to financial problems and young professional people like doctors and nurses do not like staying in rural areas, they prefer urban areas.
Minister of Health Peter Kumpalume said the government is likely to pay back the K400m debt to Cham soon.
“The Norwegian government is helping us pay these arrears. They will give us money, everything will be fine,” he said.
The minister said CHAM and the government will be signing a new memorandum of understanding before the end of December this year so that by the start of next year, poor ordinary Malawians should resume accessing free health services from CHAM hospitals.