Government says it is replacing medical doctors with specially trained administrators as district health officers so that the clinicians can be well utilised in their area of medicine.
Ministry of Health spokesperson Adrian Chikumbe said the ministry is piloting this in nine districts where there are non medicine personnel heading public district hospitals.
He said the aim is to ensure that the few medical doctors Malawi has are well utilised in the field of medicine than administration. Reports say a group of these special public hospital administrators, who are not clinicians, are undergoing special training at College of Medicine in Blantyre.
The medical doctors who also doubled as district health officers were said to be too busy to look into hospital administration including ensuring no drug thefts, attending to patients and also most of times away for meetings and workshops crippling the running of public hospitals.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health and Christian Health Association of Malawi (Cham) has finally signed a memorandum of understanding, giving ordinary Malawians access to free or heavily subsidised medicine in the church run hospitals.
Chief executive officer for Cham Dr. Mwai Makoka said the new agreement stipulates that there should be talks between the government, the principal secretary for Health and Cham executive secretary every three month and ministry of health and Cham board chairperson twice a year as a means of dealing with emerging challenges.
Cham terminated the agreement with government after the cash strapped ministry of Health failled to pay Cham huge sums of money leaving the mission hospitals bunkrupt and failling to pay some of its employees.
The new agreement allows free maternity services and other prescribed ailments.