Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi has said government has set aside K5 billion for the recruitment of additional medical personnel in public health facilities in the country this year and that they are determined to ensure the availability of medicines and medical supplies to make universal health coverage a reality.
Muluzi made the revelation in Mangochi during a media managers and editors workshop Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) conducted to improve the media’s understanding of the joint MoH and CMST reforms.
He said the Ministry of Health had four priorities in the current financial year which include reviewing the use of resources, ensuring that theft of medical supplies and medical drugs within health facilities is kept in check, recruitment and retention of medical personnel.
“We recently graduated some medical personnel, but the focus now is to make sure that we recruit additional personnel within the health sector. There is an allocation of K5 billion that has been made available to the Department of Human Resources Management to start the process this year,” said Muluzi.
“Some resources have also been provided by the Global Fund for the recruitment of additional health workers,” he added.
Muluzi said it was government’s intention to see that medical personnel were employed within the country and not elsewhere.
“As government, we are equally affected when our doctors go outside to seek greener pasture when they could be saving lives in our public hospitals,” said Muluzi, adding: “So, when we talk of retention, we want to make sure that when we train health personnel, they do not go overseas.”
“We just have to retain the health workers in our system because we invest a lot of money as a country in training health personnel only to lose them to other countries later along the way,” he lamented.
Muluzi, therefore, disclosed that government was in talks with the Medical Council of Malawi to see how best Malawian medical professionals who trained abroad could be allowed to practice in the country when they return.
In an interview after the workshop, Muluzi reiterated government’s commitment to improving the healthcare system despite the country’s economic challenges.
He said: “Despite economic challenges, government has made significant progress in reducing maternal and neonatal deaths, cholera, HIV and Aids, among other plagues. Going forward, we will strive to deliver universal healthcare coverage.”
Muluzi, however, bemoaned theft of drugs by some unscrupulous workers, saying government will tighten the management of medicines and strengthen supervision activities, apart from letting the “drug theft investigation unit” to decisively deal with the thieves.
Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :