Minister says demands by health workers unrealistic: ‘Taking advantage of Covid-19’

Minister of Health and Population, Jappie Mhango has called upon health care workers in the country not to take advantage of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic by making unrealistic financial demands.

Health Minister Jappie Mhango: Malawi economy is not resilient enough to accommodate hefty demands

Mhango made the remarks this week in Lilongwe when he toured an isolation centre at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) as he was being briefed about the challenges managers are facing.

He said he aware of the situation many countries are in from reports across the globe.

Mhango said in other countries, health workers have ended up being infected in the course of offering health services to Covid-19 patients and that some have lost their lives.

He said no government would want to risk lives of their health personnel, hence ensures that all necessary personal protective equipment is available in all hospitals.

“Our economy is not resilient enough to accommodate hefty demands and my appeal to them is to always be reasonable in their demands,” said Mhango.

He said the essence of one being a doctor is to continue practicing and not collapsing the whole system because of the coronavirus. The minister said no one knows how far the virus will go.

Mhango then reminded the health workers that there is tomorrow and if the economy is run down in the name of corona virus, the same people would protest against the effects they want to create today.

“We rely on donor aid and currently, even the donors have been affected, hence our government cannot commit to meet the demands.

The health workers are demanding a $200 allowance per day, which is equivalent to MK150, 000 and working for 21 days.

Briefing the minister on the demands brought to her office, Director of Health Services for Bwaila Hospital, Alinafe Tambala said the health workers who were on duty refused to get the MK150, 000-package for working for two days in the isolation centre.

She further said the health care workers then agreed to put their tools down and demanded the MK150, 000-offer as a daily allowance.

They also demanded to be paid for working in the self- isolation as they would count it as if they are still on duty since they will still be away from their families.

Tambala told the minister all health workers have now boycotted anything related to the COVID-19 and that none of them was going to work in the isolation centre until their demands are met.

She said her office has no capacity to commit to such hefty demands, adding that the demands needed the attention of the ministry [of Health].

The minister has since advised the Director of Health Services to document the complaints as soon as she can so that they can be tabled to the Special Cabinet Committee on COVID- 19 to see how best they could handle the issue.

Nevertheless, he said having listened to the complaints, they are genuine and that government is in a position to revise the current rates to something reasonable.

Commenting on the issue, District Commissioner (DC) for Lilongwe, Lawford Palani said the council cannot commit to such huge demands, saying it would end up emptying the accounts.

Palani said has nothing against the health workers demanding a revision of the risk allowance and their daily allowance, but said the demands are way too high for Malawi’s economy.

“We have all worked so hard to make sure that the isolation centre at Bwaila is completed and that it is in operation.

“The challenge in front of us now is that health workers have put their tools down,” he said.

Currently, the health workers are also waiting to receive communication on the new rates for their risk allowances which they had asked government to revise from MK1, 800 per day to a reasonable rate.

 

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Hate it or take it but it's a fact

Why only Health workers demand unrealistic?? U want to pocket the whole amount of Mk27Billion from W.H.O alone?

Share with others not being selfish .

DPP is Doomed
DPP is Doomed
10 months ago

A chunk of this money should go to healthy workers and not Jappie and the rest of the thieves. Gertrude already took her share of K1 billion.

Citizen Number 1
Citizen Number 1
10 months ago

When Civil Servants demand what is really theirs, you say they are making unrealistic demands. But when ministers demand 200% pay rise, loans which are usually never paid back, meal allowances, motor vehicle loans, fuel allowances, airtime allowances, sitting allowances, night allowances, government hiring South African lawyers at K600,000,000 and bribing Blantyre Synod with K70,000,000, then it is okay. One wonders if at all you are really serious with the fight against Covid 19. Instead of using that money to pacify the medics who have downed their tools, thus, putting lives of the sick in danger while the medics risk… Read more »

Junior
Junior
10 months ago

Do you know where jappie mhango is coming from his tribe? For all those who have the negative sides of tumbuka jappie mhango from Rumphi mhuju boy should be at forefront , greedy and selfish has no intention of developing the country Malawi rather than destruction coz of greedy 💰 hungry. Jappie mhango you are a shame to the tumbuka.

Dumbo
Dumbo
10 months ago

Mwayamba kukangana ndalama zake zopasidwa zomwezo, eni ake andalamawo Akanva kuti ndalama zinja, anthu akugawana adzakuninkhani Zina, angokumvetseranitu,

kaukonde
kaukonde
10 months ago

Malawi government should consider training youth in national services that should include basic health care. I have noted lack of seriousness in the young health providers where their main focus is money. You have seen nurses and doctors crying to be employed by government yet they know that government pays low salaries yet when they are employed they cause problems. When these nurses and doctors are graduating they take vows yet there is no money mentioned in those vows.

chataika
chataika
10 months ago

K150,000 is unrealistic and if this happens then all other govt workers should be considered the same because it’s not only you who work in a hostile environment? Kufuna kulemera munthawi ya mavuto nkutero kodi nanga, sheee. It is unfortunate to make such demands while the house is on fire. Ngati wena alowetsako ndale to corner govt is very unfortunate and remember you the nurses when you taking the oaths during graduation you did not put a condition and there was preparations for ebola why dd you not make such demands that time so avoid kutumikira ena. And if govt… Read more »

Kadyamtemba
10 months ago
Reply to  chataika

Nurses are just demanding what they think is good for them. No one is sending them to make such demands. We hear the cabinet committee pockets K300,000 per meeting so half of that amount is not bad for nurses

Maliseche
Maliseche
10 months ago

What is realistic?

: Paying Mk6000,000,000 to South African lawyers

: Gertrude Muthalika withdrawing MK 1 billion from the donor funded COVID-19 fund for her foundation?

: Using donor funded Covid-19 fund to buy campaign materials?

: Lying to international organizations and the world about the actual Covid-19 perverance in Malawi

: Announcing a hastily and poorly thought lockdown?

APM Akuthanyulidwa
APM Akuthanyulidwa
10 months ago

Cadet minister walira mokweza. Thumba la covid layamba kucheperachepera. He wanted to eat it alone with his blue buddies.

Mtondowodoka
10 months ago

Everyone is acting as if Corona is governments problem alone. Aboma zisiyeni kaye zinthunzi,anthu akayamba kufa, they will come to their senses.Even these nurses, let them go back to their regular day to day jobs, once corona victims, start piling up in the hospitals, sense will come. Right now is not time to negotiate. Let protesters protest, let mtambo and Mcp win, let Chilima talk about Corona, let them undermine the leadership.let everyone be free. Time will come they will remember they have a government. $200? are they building new Lungs and Trachea for these covid patients ? Just monitoring… Read more »

Ulemu Banda
Ulemu Banda
10 months ago
Reply to  Mtondowodoka

Do you think $200 is a lot of money at the cost of working in the front line without PPE? Surely you know you can’t buy life.

readson
readson
10 months ago
Reply to  Mtondowodoka

A mtondowodoka u are u true malawian reading your comment means sense to those who cares people than fighting for political gain i feel sorry with my fellow malawians who put political in everything

zapadziko
zapadziko
10 months ago
Reply to  Mtondowodoka

Inuyo pitani mukagwire zosamala ma patient wao opanda ma protective wo tione ngati uncle anu angasangalale nazo

Mwikho
Mwikho
10 months ago
Reply to  Mtondowodoka

You Dudee!!! “Anthu akayamba kufa” I thought 2 have already died !! You write as if Covid 19 will spare you!!! Are you Normal??? I doubt.

Kadyamthemba
10 months ago
Reply to  Mtondowodoka

Yes corona virus is a gaffment problem alone. Can’t you see the committee on covd19 comprises of dpp ministers alone? Why do you mention MCP and Chilima in this issue? Tell your dpp that this time is not for politics. It’s time to save Malawians. Those people in the committee are not the only wise ones in this country. If your president was wise enough he would have invited Dr. Chakwera, Dr. Chilima, HRDC leaders and others add them to the cabinet committee on covd19 to make a national committee. In this way all decisions made by such a committee… Read more »

Mtondowodoka
10 months ago
Reply to  Kadyamthemba

Non- starter..

Mandy
Mandy
10 months ago

They are asking for 70% of their basic salary which is less than 150,000 kwacha for the whole month. They currently receive 1800 kwacha for the whole month. This amount was set 30 years ago when the salary itself was 6000 kwacha. How is it that with inflation the salaries changed but the risk allowance remained the same? and NO the demands are not unrealistic, surely the same government that gives their cabinet ministers an allowance of 300,000 kwacha per press briefing can afford to pay their health care workers 150,000 kwacha per month for putting their lives and their… Read more »

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