Minister of Health and Population Services, Atupele Muluzi has described Dedza District Council as one of the councils that are not doing well in managing district hospitals.
Speaking in an interview with reporters after a surprise visit to Dedza District Council on Thursday following demonstrations that was held on Monday by health workers at Dedza District Hospital, the Minister said that it has been noted that the council is not doing well in managing the District Hospital.
“As you know we have fully decentralised all the districts and community health facilities to the district councils, there are some district councils that are doing very well in managing the district hospitals, the districts are able to manage the budgets that are being given to them, while other district councils are not doing very well in managing such issues and Dedza is one of them,” Muluzi observed.
“Government is very keen to make sure that district councils that have this responsibility are discharging the responsibility in the manner that they should, meaning that they have taken ownership and responsibility of the power we have given the councils to manage the district hospitals and Dedza District Hospital unfortunately is one of the district hospitals that has been in the recent days locked with issues in terms of management from the council level,” he added.
Muluzi said he made a visit to the Council to appreciate the situation and in return to make recommendations to the Minister of Local Government as well as National Local Government Finance Committee and to inform cabinet colleagues in terms of what to do to better improve the situation within some of the districts councils that are not doing so well.
He asked the council to ensure transparency when handling financial issues to avoid such cases occurring.
District Commissioner for Dedza, Ellis Tembo said that the council’s challenge is that of late funding as they last received funding in the month of February, 2018.
“We have not yet received funding for the month of March and April, 2018 and we are operating with borrowed funds from banks and other sources,” he said.
Tembo stated that, “Currently, we have started solving some of the issues health workers raised in the petition with the borrowed money. We have secured K 5 million fuel, food for patients, stationery, cleanliness materials for the hospital and we are remaining with Locum allowances for health workers amounting to K 4 million,” he stated.
On Monday this week health workers at the District Hospital flocked to the council and presented a petition accusing the council of mismanagement of funds for the health sector.