Authorities at Queen Elizabeth Central hospital in Blantyre, the country’s major referral hospital in the Southern Region, have expressed worry with the alarming numbers of patients seeking treatment at the facility, saying the rise has compromised service delivery.
Speaking during an interview, the hospital’s director of health and social services (DHSS) Dr Samson Ndolo complained that the absence of a district hospital in Blantyre has forced the referral hospital to be offering much of primary health care services against its mandate of offering specialised care.
Ndolo disclosed that the problem of congestion is particularly worse in ward 2A which is used to admit cancer patients in which instead of having about twenty patients, there are over one hundred patients in the ward who have to share only two toilets.
He added that some patients who are expected to undergo an endoscopy procedure to detect intestinal infections are put on a waiting list for over a period of six months as the facility only has one endoscopy machine.
“We have seen a major rise in the number of patients we have to treat at QECH over the years due to the country’s rapid population growth. This has indeed affected delivery of quality healthy care services at the hospital,” he said.
Ndolo disclosed that the referral hospital has partnered with district hospitals in the southern region like Chiradzuro, Thyolo, Mulanje and Chikwawa where specialists are sent to treat people right in their districts in order to reduce congestion at the referral hospital.
Minister of Health and Population Jappie Mhango last week visited Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital as part of his familiarisation tour where he promised that construction of the much awaited Blantyre District Hospital is expected to commence this year with money already allocated in the 2019/20 budget.
The Health Minister also promised to buy modern equipment for the referral hospital.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :