Calm has returned at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe after patients on Friday staged a vocal protest because there was no nurse in Ward 4B on Thursday night.
The patients claimed two patients died because of lack of care as there was no nurse on duty.
Hospital director Dr Jonathan Ngoma however said only one patient died.
He confirmed there was no nurse on night duty on Thursday.
“I think there was communication break down. The nurse who was on duty did not communicate with management that she was not showing up for duties,” he said.
However, very surprisingly, Dr Ngoma seemed to be backing the lack of discipline by the nurse by absconding from duty, saying nurses suffer fatigue because they look after 100 patients in a day than the recommended international figure of 12.
“The government should just employ more nurses. We are abusing these nurses,” said Ngoma, begging the question why can’t the nurses resign and join the private hospitals where they can get lucrative pay and look after the recommended number of patients.
Ngoma also doubted if the patient died because of lack of a nurse saying the boy had been sick since December and his organs died long ago and was expected to die.
Malawians complain that medical practitioners in public hospitals can sometimes be rude and do not treat patients, who are mostly the poor, with respect.