Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodall Gondwe has said government has no money to increase the drub budget for the public hospitals as the district health offices have exhausted their budget and some are accessing medical supplies on credit from the Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST).
There are three months before the hospitals can get fresh budget allocations in the next national budget due on July 1.
In a story on Monday, The Nation newspaper said it contacted 21 district hospitals out of 23 and they indicated they have exhausted their drug budget.
The paper also quoted Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, Juliana Lunguzi who said her committee pointed out during debate in Parliament on the national budget that the drug allocation was manifestly inadequate.
“It is very unfortunate that we have reached this level,” said Lunguzi in quotes reported by the paper.
“We told the Minister of Finance about this and he told us that there was nothing he could do,” she added.
Gondwe has said there are no additional funds to top up the drug budget.
“Where will I get the money? We do not have money. We will see when we get there,” Gondwe is quoted saying.
The Nation in the editorial comment said the situation is “worrying”.
“It is a fact that resources are limited. However drugs are a lifeline and should be given a priority by allocating adequate funding.
“We cannot afford to be seeing our people dying from curable ailments. It smacks lack of seriousness and commitment,” reads the editorial in conclusion.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :