Malawi Congress Party (MCP) member of Parliament (MP)for Dedza East Juliana Lunguzi, has accused the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) cares less about the health of ordinary Malawians in the villages by allocating less than 10 percent of the total budget to the health sector budget.
Lunguzi said the ordinary Malawians, mostly in the rural villages who are hit the hardest by any under-funding that the health sector is subjected to.
The lawmaker, a nurse by profession and Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, asked Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe to “rethink” on underfunding of the health sector and reverse the trend.
“The sad the truth about the health sector is that DPP Government even conceded in the Budget Statement in as far as their health needs are concerned, Malawians should look to donors.
“If Malawians were expecting a vibrant Health Sector, a DPP government is simply not what they needed,” Lunguzi said this in her contribution to the 2015/16 proposed budget which Gondwe presented in Parliament on May 22.
According to Lunguzi’s findings, Dedza District Hospital would receive K110 million (US$244 444) instead of K315 million (US$700 000), Nkhata Bay District Hospital budget has gone down from K139 million (US$308 889) to K82 million (US$182 222), while Chikwawa District Hospital will get K134 million (US297 778) against its proposed budget of K226 million (US$502 222).
Lunguzi said challenges of inadequate and outdated medical equipment, drug stockouts, dilapidated infrastructure and health worker shortages would not be addressed with 25 percent funding from government.
“When off-budget funding exceeds government allocations to critical ministries, you do not need further proof that those ‘governing’ admit that they do not know how to manage the basic needs of Malawians, the most important being good health,” said Lunguzi.
Lunguzi proposed that making central hospitals autonomous and using resources effectively would resolve hospital administration constraints.