The 2020/21 National Budget has allocated the health sector K195.3 billion, representing 9.7 percent of the total budget, second to education, with Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Joseph Mwanamvekha disclosing that construction of a military hospital may start later this year.
Malawi government plan to construct a modern military hospital for Malawi Defence Force (MDF) where the facility will be equipped with an air ambulance at Kamuzu Barracks in Lilongwe.
Construction of a hospital at the Kamuzu Barracks was one of the recommendations by the Commission of Inquiry into circumstances of the death of late President Bingu wa Mutharika in April of 2012.
Among others, the Justice Elton Singini inquiry observed that, referring a whole Head of State to a public hospital- as was the case with late Bingu wa Mutharika- compromised the president’s security and privacy.
Therefore, the Commission recommended that: “Government needs to construct or establish a presidential medical facility at the headquarters of the Malawi Defence Force in Lilongwe which is the seat of Government where the President regularly resides.”
Presenting the fiscal plan for Malawi in 2020/21, Mwanamvekha said government has engaged a consultant to develop the designs of the military hospital which are expected to be ready by end July, 2020.
“Government is also in discussions with would-be financiers of this project and once discussions are concluded and designs completed, construction work would Start,” he said.
The resources in the health sector, according to Mwanamvekha, will cater for completion of Domasi Community Hospital, Phalombe District Hospital, and the National Cancer Treatment Centre in Lilongwe.
“These projects are expected to be completed by August 2020. In addition, Government plans to complete 3 health centres and Umoyo houses in 29 sites across the country,” Mwanamvekha said.
Furthermore, the Finance Minister disclosed that construction of Mponela Community Hospital will continue in the 2020/2021 financial year.
Mwanamvekha also said the health budget will cater for wages and salaries, including recruitment of health personnel, operational expenses for Ministry of Health, district health offices, central and district hospitals.
He said K27.3 billion will be for procurement of medical drugs and of which K11.7 billion is for central hospitals and K15.6 billion is for district hospitals.
In light of the ongoing coronavirus (Covid- 19) pandemic, Mwanamvekha said government will continue to focus on “halting further spread” through the implementation of evidence-based public health measures as well as ensuring that the provision of other essential services does not suffer.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :