Malawi activist cautions against paying services in public hospitals

A vocal human rights activist has asked Malawi government to tread carefully in its health reforms after announcing that it is reintroducing paying for the provision of health service in the country in order to improve on its delivery.

According to Principal Secretary for Ministry of Health Charles Mwansambo, government will reintroduce the paying services and that funds rose “will be used to improve the facilities and provide better services. “

But Billy Mayaya, member of Civic and Political Space Platform, told Nyasa Times the move will hurt more Malawians.

“There is need to create a consuming culture so that people have the disposable income to pay for improved service delivery in hospitals. Right now the majority of Malawians are directing their meager incomes towards hand to mouth issues of subsistence. To suddenly expect them to pay for health services with incomes they do not have is a slap in the face,” Mayaya told Nyasa Times.

Mayaya: No need to rush into paying for public hospital services
Mayaya: No need to rush into paying for public hospital services

“The majority of people in Malawi live in rural areas and will not be able to afford this drastic change. There is need to curb corruption in the Ministry of Health where billions of kwachas are fleeced and direct the resources to subsidizing health care service,” he added.

Malawi’s authoritative newspaper, The Nation, also wrote an editorial comment urging government to put in place measures that would ensure money made from the paying services and wards at public health institutions indeed goes towards improving delivery of health services “and not towards enriching people who only care about their pockets even where they put a number of lives at risk.”

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