The Ministry of Health has directed all health facilities in the country to stop demanding police reports before assisting people injured in various circumstances, saying the practice is not in Malawi laws.
In an official communiqué signed by the ministry’s Principal Secretary, Dr Charles Mwansambo, the ministry is calling for an end to a continued practice by health facilities across the country to decline to assist people who seek assistance after an assault, accident or general injuries unless they first report to police and bring forth a police report.
“The office brings to your attention that the above practice is not demanded by law as the constitution of the Republic of Malawi accords every person the right to life and the right to human dignity,” says Dr Mwansambo.
Mwansambo further says the Malawi government is obliged to promote the welfare of Malawians by implementing policies and legislation that aim at providing adequate health care.
“Every sick or injured person is entitled to access health care regardless of the circumstances that lead to the injury or sickness hence discrimination of persons in any form is prohibited.
“People are entitled to report to police but they shall not be deprived the right to access health care should they not first report to police and present a police report,” he adds.
Deputy National Public Relations Officer for the Malawi Police Service, Inspector Harry Namwaza, said there was need for the Ministry of Health to work hand in hand with the Malawi Police Service since some people get injured while committing various crimes.
On his part, Executive Director for Malawi Health Equity Network, George Jobe, hailed the ministry for the directive.
“This is important and it will help health facilities to start understanding the importance of helping an individual first before looking for police reports. The ministry should publicise this issue enough and Malawians should be encouraged to report to the ministry if they fail to be assisted because of not producing a police report,” remarked Jobe.