Malawi plans hospital fees, nation health fund: Reforms

Malawi government plans a push of health sector reforms which include introduction of paid services at public hospitals, allow private operators to run public hospitals and establish a special health fund.

Dr. Jean Kalirani (r) Minister of Health and Dr. Charles Mwansambo l Chief of Health Services

Dr. Jean Kalirani (r) Minister of Health and Dr. Charles Mwansambo l Chief of Health Services

The government also wants to introduce levies on alcohol and cigarettes consumption to raise additional revenue for the public health sector.

Dalitso Kabambe, director of planning and policy development at the Health Ministry said the proposed changes are meant to make public hospitals “more efficient and effective.”

Kabambe also said there will be an introduction of an insurance scheme for public servants..

He said the proposed raft of health reforms are meant to “raise money to support the health sector”.

The Health Ministry has submitted the proposed reforms to various stakeholders, including donors, who will later give their recommendations to the government.

If accepted, the proposed reforms will be endorsed by the government and sent to parliament for approval before implementation.

Juliana Lunguzi, chairperson of a parliamentary committee on health, hailed the proposed raft of reforms, but urged caution on how they were sold to Malawians.

“We need to package them in a way that, as a sector, we speak with one voice,” Lunguzi said.

She added: “We shouldn’t confuse the people about these reforms.”

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27 thoughts on “Malawi plans hospital fees, nation health fund: Reforms”

  1. Kanyimbi says:

    Good move. No time for free lunch. Everyone must pay. Even the poor are able to visit a sangoma.

  2. MALAWI where r u heading to? if more than 50% of citizens spend less than $1 /day u think this will help? think about them, think before u look into ur pocket MAY GOD BLESS

  3. Joshua says:

    It’s A Welcome Idea. But It Should Not Affect Health Employees & College{ Kcn, Com,etc}

  4. Donyisto says:

    Who will manage the funds accumulated, unless all corruption holes are sealed from central level to health centre level. I only see this as a self enriching move to health sector personnel, these monies will end in training activities not involving community. Many activities are done in hotels where communities are not participants and there supposed fruits are not seen on the ground and the services are going worse than before the activities. Health is one of the sectors with more workshops that only benefit participants not communities. Unless something is done to change this trend then the reform is a welcomed idea.
    I dont expect to go to a paying hospital to meet a rude nurse/clinician who keeps me waiting on the line whilst busy with personal useless matters to the community. Reform the workers first then introduce the fees, private clincs/hospitals are better of as they are customer/patient friendly.

  5. Nyani wa ku Mwananyani says:

    I thought the issue of user fees at public health institutions was settled as a “NO” by the government, a few weeks ago, in view of unabated opposition to the idea? So what is different between the last proposal and this one, beside the obvious levy on the two “sin” consumer goods – cigarettes and alcohol. The minister owes us an explanation, with details, nothing less.
    I am as confused as Joseph @#5.
    Health is NOT a sector to be considered as a major source of revenue! Especially in a country like ours, poorest of the poor, where even most employees already live hand to mouth, month after month, with no end in sight.
    Unless this article is deliberately incomplete, and thereby intends to miss lead, the Ministry and by implication, the government seems to lack purpose and direction.

  6. Chinthu says:

    These Monies Should benefit The Pple Of The The Area Where The Hospital Is Located.The Fees Should Not Deposited In Account # One But DDF Account

  7. Lu Nginde says:

    Thats the only way to improve the quality of health services in Malawi.

  8. Issa Kabudula says:

    I was the first to support the idea last year and am supporting the idea today. Zaulele sizabwino we better pay for our service, we can claim back our dignity, many times we have seen small girls and boys coz they are nurses and doctors shouting ills to the old men and women in clinics and government hospitals which you can not get that treatment at Mwaiwathu or any other private institution coz u r a bwana there walipira. The difference of government paying service will be minimal not as the so called private institutions – lets learn to develop ourselves.

    Am also advicing the Malawi Housing to please build as many houses as possible in different areas even in the rural areas for sale to any Malawians, we need better infrastructure. For ministry of roads please introduce toll road (paying for the use of the roads) in return the same money will rehabilitate the roads and one way of job creation. Every ministry come with ideas of making money – we are tired of getting killed in foreign countries.

  9. The gambler says:

    ee koma ziliko but, why punishing the poorest man on earth in the name of improving the health sector. Osakangotenga 92bn kwacha ija, 13bn kwacha etc……..we work ndipo timakhoma nsonkho and we are always told kuti ndalamazo zimathandizira maunduna ambiri aboma including Health……this is xenophobia in mothers land Malawi ……..mupha anthutu. THINK HARD bwana PULEZIDENTI…
    .anthu asavulare kawiri

  10. Likoma Economist says:

    Malawi behaves like a welfare state: free fertiliser (and therefore free food), free education, (free) safety nets through cash transfers, free houses (through housing subsidy programe), free, free, for “poor” people who pay no tax.
    A “poor” farmer (or fisherman) can make over K5mn a year by growing soya, pigs, cattle, goats, etc and he will not be taxed. And yet a civil servant (such as as a teacher) who earns much less is heavily taxed!
    It’s time govt stopped giving handouts. Handouts promotes laziness. The current govt policies heavily taxes hardworkers and subsidises (and encourages) laziness. Quota system is another example of such ridiculos policies.

  11. will says:

    Pple lets be realistic, do u want to say Malawi is failing to have an improved health sector due to insufficient funds? are sure u want ti kill many people by letting these greedy administrators introduce such a fee for a sick poor Malawian who comes to save his/her life, Do you know how much government is losing through mismanagement, theft and bribes, why why Malawi. Just go and see how many people are laying in the hospitals bathing without soap due to poverty. Misonkho imene amadula mu zintchito mu komanso kutolera ma bizinezi zidzikhala zolowa mthumba mwa anthu through cashgate zoona? Muganize bwino a malawi.

  12. Stanley Simtowe says:

    Introducing a Health fee in the public Hospitals,is the only way Malawians can now start thinking postively.We all know how Malawians have been always spoon fed since the so called Free Democracy arrived on their weak hands.

    Even if the fee can be so small like Mk200,still the government can be raising a lot of funds due to the high population Malawi is having.And I have no doubt that health services will also improve.

    To people who have travelled,will also agree with this poiative idea.It’s a very good welcome development to the Nation please.Ofcourse,it will take some yrs for Malawians themselves to accept it because of being used to free donations.

    Again,the Malawi government would have also introduced the small tax even to a local person and not only to a civil servant alone.We all know for sure that Malawi is a land locked.So this very small revenue from local people would also boost the country’s economy.For example,even if the tax fee should be at Mk500/month to every local person above 18 yrs,still the government can be generating a lot of money.

    Lastly,Education is the only key to the development of the nation.And Malawians should be aware of this.No any G8 countriy has made it without education.Ofcourse, Malawi has good learned people,but the only problem is that, almost everyone is pompous.He/she still behaves as not civilised at all.

    For instance, it’s not easy for a university student to get his/her paper.Instead he/she has almost to kneel down to a Lecturer despite him/her being intelligent.If it is female student,then she has to make sure she offers her body to the male Lecture.

    Please this should stop completely because it only exposes how ignorant these learned Malwians are.MORE TO COME.AMEN.

  13. John Nyirenda says:

    This is a good move and it will ensure that there is always sufficient medical supplies in our hospital. Pilferage will also be minimised as the hospital administrators will be held accountable to stocks. Stock levels should be equal to income realised from ‘Sales’.

  14. FANIZO says:

    nanga akumuzi akwanisa!!!!!

  15. Hamu says:

    This idea will help our Health Sector, please push for it. Am 100% supporting it.

  16. Sarudzai says:

    ooooh ookeyyy bas tingosiya kumwa mma bottle store tione ngati revenue mukatolere ku kachasu kwa vileke… you will end up reducing the tax you already get from beer as people will reduce drinking formal beer due to high prices of beer becoz of too much levies on it. why only beer with alot of levies… you wiĺl end up clipling the economy with these useless levies

  17. chaiwone wawo says:

    This is the only hope for Malawi’s health sector. Many Malawians can afford to pay for a certain level and package of health services. Proper ways have to be found to make people contribute to the health fund apart from government subsidies to the fund. Proper managerial and administrative capacity has to be made available for the fund to be able to solicit revenue form the informal and formal sectors of the economy. the informal sector is difficult to capture but we can learn from countries like India. Allowing private players to run public facilities really allows efficiency and effectiveness. Competition comes among the providers to deliver good services to clients at reasonable costs. Such a plan will also see the constant industrial actions by the health workers come to an end as it will be possible for them to earn extra from their practice. Please let nobody oppose these plans. A way need to be found to protect the poorest who cannot afford to pay. They are a small fraction of our population otherwise there are lots of people claiming to be the poorest yet they afford cellphones and airtime daily in the rural areas. they afford Kachasu daily, they afford mitala and zibwenzi. they afford so many things and i do not see why they should not pay for their own health. India has a large poor population and 90 percent informal sector economy but they have a good health fund allowing even the poorest to in a health fund. Go get the lesson.

  18. mmalawi Okwiya... says:

    Malawi as a country only focus on response driven issues rather preventive measures. More money and resources are invested in response services e..g. more funding to Ministry of Health, Agriculture etc, Yet our Environment is being degraded and no one cares about it.

    Why not produce the same revy on Environment or prevetive measures rather curitive measures. Poor Malawi

  19. Chikago says:

    I cant wait for the reforms, anthu ena amanyanya, akabwera kuchipatala kudzaona odwala amafuna alembetse mankhwala, akabwera kumsika, atenge mankhwala, ma guadian a patient akapangidwa discharge alembetse mankhwala, akapatsidwa ma net samagonamo cz amadziwa kuti akadwala, akalandira chithandizo cha ulele. Its high tym anthu akhale responsible komanso mankhwala adzilandira anthu oyenera kutelo

  20. mlomwe2 says:

    ife amowa ndiye mwatilakwiratu. tizangopangana kuti tonse tisiye kumwa mowa komanso kusuta.kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

  21. Zanga Phee! says:

    Provided shortage of drugs in hospitals should be a history thing as well Medical Assistance in rural areas should also be monitored in regular basis as the ones in for front selling drugs in private hospitals,Ambulances not enough please consider this as well.See my name.

  22. Mtonga wa pa phata says:

    Good news mwina mankhwala nkumapezeka mzipatalamu. koma stop drugs-gate

  23. Joseph says:

    What a chaos! Didn’t your gvt refute those claims a month ago? so confusing and frustrating dealing with these unorganised people with their trial and error methods.

  24. Malindima says:

    Cigarette and alcohol levy is the way to go . May be people will reduce smoking and drinking but I doubt.
    There are also too many working people who seek free medication instead of paying for it. The Government can get information from MRA to ensure that all working people have medical insurance for hospitalization and medication. There are also many business people owning min buses and selling at the markets. Again the Government can get information from Banks and perhaps use banks as a source of collection of revenue for medical insurance for such people. You see! The government has so many options to get funds to improve the health sector and the lives of its people ; no stupid excuses.

  25. Please, continue with those plans. our neighbor Tanzania some 17 years ago. Why wait until this time!

  26. Garu Wa Garu says:

    Alcohol and cigarretes are not a need but a want. This is a great idea. Many countries do that. Way to go!!!!! good news.

  27. cash says:

    This is garbage! why cigarrets and alcohol?

Comments are closed.