President Joyce Banda has said she will not accept the paying of health services in public hospitals, saying many Malaiwians live below the poverty level and cannot afford.
Ministry of Health announced that it will estblish paying sections in all its major hospitals in the country to boost the hospitals’ financial muscles. The sections will be available at Kamuzu, Mzuzu and Queen Elizabeth central hospitals hospitals beginning September 1, 2013.
President Banda clarified that the paying sections will be for those who cannot afford, saying the rest of healthy facilities will remain to be offered to the general public without any pay.
“Private and mission hospitals are the ones that offer paying services but not those that are funded by government,” said President Banda on Thursday when she laid a foundation stone for a 13 bed maternity wing and waiting shelter for Mlomba dispensary in Machinga.
Malawi’s government hospitals offer free services to the citizenry. Often times the hospitals have suffered drug and medical equipment shortages – problems that have been blamed on lack of enough funding.
President Banda also spoke against medical practitioners that are charging money on the newly introduced regiment of antiretroviral therapy saying those doing so will be punished.
She explained: “Anyone aware of those charging on the new ARVs, should report to me and I will surely know what to do with him or her.”
Banda said people with HIV deserve better treatment, observing that the old regiment of ARVs was causing deformities on patients due to toxins.
The World Health Organisation is currently recommending the 5A regiment which is a composition of Tenofovir/Lamivudine/Efavirenz, due to reduced side effects.
By December, 2012, Malawi had 404, 905 patients on ART.