Malawi government has set up plans to privatise some service in public hospitals in improve healthcare as part of public reforms aimed at improving efficiency and quality services, President Peter Mutharika has said.
Mutharika speaking in an interview on BBC’s flagship interview program, HardTalk, said his government will soon start putting public hospitals into private hands.
Mutharika told BBC’s Zeinab Badawi in the interview that the plans are meant to address the current drug shortages which he said started with donors’ decision to withdraw aid from Malawi following cashgate corruption scandal.
“We have no medicines in hospitals. We are trying to bring private sector into hospital management and we hope it will work” Mutharika told BBC.
His government already announced plans to privatise mortuaries in a bid to improve efficiency and quality services towards handling of corpses in all public hospitals due to series of shocking incidents of decomposition.
There has been series of shocking incidents of faults mortuaries which leads to decomposition of corpses .
Government set up a task force to look into the feasibility plan on how it will work considering that most mortuaries are out-dated and do not tick to the current health standards of handling corpses.
The proposal to have mortuaries privatised excited health expert saying public hospitals will be able concentrating their core mandate to save lives than the dead.
Martha Kwataine, Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen)’s Executive Director expressed optimism of the development that would bear fruits of saving lives than dead bodies while cautioning on government towards the poor’s ability to access such services without payment.
“Mortuary management is a supplementary service as generally hospitals are mandated to save lives not dead bodies. Relatives are responsible for corpses. The problems with Malawians, we respect a lot dead bodies than patients or the sick.
“Other countries are already doing this. Our mortuaries have been deteriorated because of lack of ownership such that if it’s run by someone else, they will manage them well. However, government must make sure that poor, who die in accessing services especially in referral hospitals who also don’t have relatives to pay such charges are considered”, urges Kwataine.
Currently, relatives pay MK2, 500 for embalming, MK1, 000 for washing and dressing and MK1, 000 per night for storage of departed loved ones at some private mortuaries.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :