Drugs worth five MK5 billion are stolen every year in the country’s public hospitals, Minister of Health Dr. Peter Kumpalume revealed when he visited Nsanje District Health Office Thursday.
Kumpalume said every year government allocates K17 billion for drug procurement of which one third of the total allocation is lost due to drug theft.
The Minister of Health warned that government will effect stiff punishments this year to health officers who would be involved in such malpractices.
“It is disheartening to note that government is losing a lot of money due to drug theft by the people government entrusted with responsibility of taking care of the lives of people.
“People who are stealing the medicine are the very medical personnel government employed which is very bad. This malpractice is refusing the very poor people to get their right to medication,” said Kumpalume.
The Health Minister said government has put in place different measures to ensure that whoever is involved should be arrested, taken to court and be fired from the system.
He also warned medical practitioners working in public hospitals in the country to abide by their code of conduct or else they will be interdicted or fired.
“There are some health workers who come late for duties and leave before time of knocking off. Let me emphasize that this will not be tolerated, and I am asking the District Health Officer to enforce the standard time of work,” said Kumpalume.
The minister’s visit comes barely a day after Malawi News Agency reported that some medics are demanding money from patients in order to access medication.–Mana