Malawi to delay health workers pay, govt asks them to brace

Malawi Government has warned its employees in the health sector to expect a delay in the payments of their February salaries and nurses have since bemoaned the sad development.

The Memo

The Memo

According to a Memo from the Secretary for Health, a Mr. B.K Chapalapata to all district and central health directors and officers, the salary delay is due to change in payment system.

The country’s banks are switching their payment system following the adoption of the Malawi National Switch by government.

According to a Memo from the Secretary for Health, a Mr. B.K Chapalapata to all district and central health directors and officers, the salary delay is due to change in payment system.

The country’s banks are switching their payment system following the adoption of the Malawi National Switch by government.

A nurse at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital who opted for anonymity said the change in payment system is a welcome idea but the fact that it will cause a delay in salary makes it all worse because it will affect them in different ways and make their day to day life difficult as they rely on the salary in their daily activities.

“We rely on our salaries for our homes to survive. For me to get to work I need to use that same money for transport. I do not know but i just think there could have been another way that government could have used so that it should not lead to delay in salaries.”

In the Memo, Chapalapata also warned the employees to brace for more tough times ahead.

”I wish to inform you that there is a strong possibility that salaries for the month of February, 2015 will be delayed,” reads the Memo in part.

Nurses in Malawi asked to brace

Nurses in Malawi asked to brace

Chapalapata said it was not certain as for how long the ‘possible’ delay would last, warning ”There is also possibility of initial unexpected problems for the first few months.”

Recently, government has been facing industrial strikes in relation to salary increments and delays.

Malawi faces a severe shortage of health workers, a factor that has contributed greatly to high maternal mortality in the country.

Most clinical care is performed by mid-level providers an demotivating factors within the Malawian health system are pushing workers into private, non-governmental and other non-health related positions.

Most health workers are dumping the sector mostly due to delays and inconsistencies in salary payments as well as lack of transparent processes and criteria for upgrading or promotion.

The most recent health worker to patient densities (2009) are 0.019 physicians and 0.343 nursing and midwifery personnel per 1,000 population, and there are ongoing vacancies across all nursing and clinical cadres.

In addition to these shortages, the health sector in Malawi is also faced with uneven distribution of staff, with more than half of the doctors working in the four  central hospitals and a few in district hospitals.—(Additional reporting by Taonga Mtambo, Nyasa Times)

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24 thoughts on “Malawi to delay health workers pay, govt asks them to brace”

  1. Proff. Ngangabulawayo says:

    Chefourpence, this issue is not triblistic, govt should just come up with a vibrant solution. Parliament session has consumed all the govt resources including civil servants salaries. Why did they not delay the parliamentarians allowances? govt should just come open that there is no money due to cashgate and these are the effects. The situations would be similar to those of the late Bingu’s regime. Malawians should take care otherwise the future is sour as indicted by Chapalapata.

  2. Doctor says:

    Use Common Sense Proffession switching Is The Best Solution lets try some thing else, when will nurses get rich with these

  3. chefourpence says:

    kwachuluka atumbuka akuba kwambiri: auzeni anthu zoona kuti kuli payroll audit. What a poor PR gimmick!

  4. dadaboma says:

    These are the wages of voting for DPP. Changing of National Switch for banks cannot lead to delay in salary payment. Govt of DPP has no money – it is broke. DPP has made Malawi the poorest country in the world, worse than Somalia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and every other country on the face of the world – courtesy of DPP. The govt has started depositing civil servants salary in fixed deposits and in treasury bills so they can generate profits in terms of interests which they use to meet salary increments. And they’re doing it in rotation – today Ministry of Health, tomorrow Ministry of Education, the other day another Ministry, etc. Inu amene munavotera DPP munaika dziko pamoto. Munatilakwira kwambiri.

  5. Samuel says:

    Mr. Chapalapata is not better placed to explain this. Something is wrong in Ministry of Health. You remember you called all employees account numbers by 6th February, 2014. I think you want to compare actual number of employees on the ground and those on payroll in order to catch hosts. This was the whole essence of course. A Chapalapata reason mwapeleka apayi ndiyosamveka. Technocrats know what is happening.

  6. sincara says:

    Before realising this statement mr chapalapata, you were supposed to ask the accountant general how long this will take.ukufuna ndani ayimbeko fon?

  7. Achimidzimidzi says:

    Surely banks could have notified their clients that there will be facing problems in making certain transactions or cashing.

    Musayipetse mbiri ya ma banking chondii!!

  8. Achimidzimidzi says:

    Mr. Chapalapata be honest. Let ministry of healthy put the money in banks we will see how to get the money. Otherwise, I cannot understand how the changes in banking system can affect your ministry. Are bank account numbers changing as well?

    You are being dishonest. Reason being that other people are already paid and some are being paid although changes are being implemented.

    In other words you’re saying no transactions/entries will be made during this period.

    Apatseni cash musatinemize ifenso timalipa anthu and we know there other means of paying people.

  9. richo says:

    Why has the National Switch change only affected the Health sector? I thought the National Switch initiative is a solution that allows account holders of another bank to withdraw from another bank’s ATM? How does that affect salary loading into an officer’s account?

    Is it a scape-goat? Or my understanding is a bit shallow?

  10. Isaac says:

    pliz goosd people get the article does not say only nurses will be affected, all health workers will be affected.this however does not mean that am happy with this development.something is wrong somewhere asanamizire ma banking system.ndalam boma liribe,remember we are rock bottom if we talk about poorest countries in the world.

  11. engine says:

    I dont feel it will be on to continue with ths government.Look at these salary delays,recruitment freeze of lab Scientists from College of Medicine.Let us agree on ”vote of no comfidence.”Peter and Chilima shd pack and we vote again.Otherwise,it will be worse.

  12. makito says:

    If this is the professionalism in Ministry of health, let alone government then the reform is a waste of time. Writing on 17th February, 12 days to the end of the month, you tell people ” there is a strong possibility” and (and this is idiotic of the Secretary for Health) ” maybe the Accountant General is better placed…”. OMG I cant believe this.

  13. Chris Banda says:

    Wasala rab tsopano,now MOE communicate with ur rabis

  14. engine says:

    This DPP thng has failed.We shd have a vote of no comfidence.We cnt wait for 2019

  15. Chiiyendayekha says:


  16. Nyapapi says:

    Somehow ridicilous kuwaputa dala anthu kumeneko apa zaonetssa kuti ku headquarters mjkungokhala mxxxxxxxi

  17. Prince Aliwid Bin Tahlahla Bin Abhula Ziz says:

    Pala nawona nurse…. mtima ukudosoka.

  18. sorry,but dont put down ur tools, next time switch to business or open ur clinic to maintain ur proffession.

  19. Patriot says:

    I think Zero Deficit ndi yotheka if and only if gouvernment let go all Civil Servants.
    Boma likakhala lopanda ma civil servants it will not hussle to find monies meant for salaries of civil servants.

    Useless Chilima and his STUPID Reform. And first and foremost USELESS DPP

  20. True patriot says:

    Why only nurses? How long should they wait?Do you know that many of these nurses are yet to get their locum allowances?As am writing,the atmosphere is tense at Zomba central hospital.And this is now the spark that will cause the fire burning.Mr director don’t regret shall the worst happen for you are stubborn.

  21. Muku tengelapo mwayi poti ma nurs anadzadza ndi moyo wachisoni, ndiy adzimvela chisoni / kumvetsetsa boma ndi zauchi tsilu ngati izi.

  22. INU Lalirani says:

    pasavute tisiya kaye ntchitoyo ntikaganyula mma pvt umu.

  23. brutsha says:

    What does this tell about the nursing profession’s stand in society? When something of negative connotation happens in the health sector they are the cover page. Does this mean nursing is back bone of the health care delivery system or the least regarded and can be used as a specimen anyhow? Interestingly, when something good about the health care delivery system transpires the front seat changes occupants i.e the other cadres assume the leadership role and the nurses are pushed to back seat. I don’t like it.

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