The Ministry of Health and Population in conjunction with the Office of the Ombudsman on Thursday launched hospital Ombudsman to ensure improved service delivery in health facilities.
Speaking during the launch in Lilongwe, Minister of Health and Population, Atupele Muluzi said the ministry prioritizes improvement of linkage between users and healthcare service providers to increase accountability between healthcare providers and communities.
“One of the ways we are looking to achieve this is through the office of the hospital ombudsman. They have representatives in every healthcare facility to take up issues and concerns from the public with the aim of investigating them and provide solutions and initiate changes where necessary to improve service delivery,” said Muluzi.
Muluzi further disclosed that the Ministry would soon be launching National Policy for Quality Management and Strategy for the Health Sector.
He said: “We are looking forward to using international standards such as Personal Centered Care to help us improve our quality of care. We are hoping that every patient will be treated as an individual and that all services are designed to meet the individual care needs of the patient.”
According to Malawi’s Ombudsman, Martha Chizuma Mwangonde, the office of Ombudsman embarked on repositioning its agenda with main focus on issues of maladministration in public service delivery.
“In each of the facilities across the country there shall be a focal person known as Hospital Ombudsman. These focal persons will be responsible for ensuring that principles important to public health accountability are upheld which include transparency, fairness, integrity and trust,” explained Chizuma.
Meanwhile Malawi has made great strides in improving health outcomes over the past decades. The maternal mortality ratio has decreased by 55 percent from 984 per 100, 000 live births in 2004 to 439 per 100, 000 live births in 2015/2016 while infant mortality rate decreased by 365 from 66 per 1,000 live births in 2010 to 42 per 1000 live births in 2015/2016 surpassing MDG 4 target.