Member of Parliament for Lilongwe City Centre, Shadreck Jonas, has demanded that senior government officials lose their privileges of being referred to hospitals outside Malawi when in critical health condition.
He said this in Parliament on the afternoon of Tuesday, in reference to a succession of predicaments that has been hitting Kamuzu Central Hospital recently where, among others, the hospital had been administering expired drugs to patients.
He argued that this privilege made the government officials disregard the serious problems that the local hospitals were facing.
“How can a major referral hospital like Kamuzu Central be offering expired drugs to patients and continue to use outdated medical tools.
“How can government allow the director of the same hospital to be evicted from his house simply because government cannot afford to pay for his rent to which he is entitled,” queried the MP.
He alleged that it was because the officials responsible for addressing these issues received their medical treatment abroad and thus did not know the exact seriousness of these predicaments.
Meanwhile, medical staff at the hospital in question matched to Parliament on the same afternoon, to present a petition where they complained of lack of surgical equipment and drug shortage at the hospital.
This was barely a week after the hospitals surgical ward had closed apparently due to lack of operating tools such as sutures, which is the wool used to stitch a patient after an operation.
A month earlier, at the same hospital, 16 junior medical doctors resigned having worked for two months without pay and not having been provided with housing facilities, to which they were entitled.
The parliamentarian has since argued that if the responsible government officials were referred to local hospitals such as these, they would feel an exact pinch of how bad the situation really is and would probably act with immediacy.