Mutharika issues stern warning to Malawi health workers over ‘cash-for-service’: Commences cancer center project

An angry President Peter Mutharika has warned health workers in public hospitals to stop demanding money from patients in exchange for treatment, saying he would not only arrest them but get them fired.

President Peter Mutharika : I will fire you

Mutharika said this on Wednesday when he officially put a foundation stone for a K9 billion national cancer centre at Malawi Health Sciences in Lilongwe.

President Mutharika’s comment comes barely a week after Nyasa Times story which revealed how health workers at Kamuzu Central Hospital demand money ranging from K3000 to any higher amount depending on treatment.

“This charging of people for health services (in public hospitals) must stop. If I find you, you will not only be arrested, but you will be fired and you will never work in public hospitals again,” said Mutharika.

He said the health of Malawians is his priority.

Health workers at Kamuzu Central Hospital demand money from patients for treatment in public hospitals with impunity and there are reports of people dying because of delayed treatment because patients could not afford the money for prompt and swift treatment.

Last week, ministry of Health spokesperson Adrian Chikumbe said the ministry has received reports on the same from the other central hospitals and some district hospitals.

Mutharika also promised that the country will soon have an air ambulance for emergency cases.

“If we can have an air ambulance then we will save lots of lives. I want the country to have a world class health care,” he said.

Turning to the National Cancer Centre, Mutharika demanded that it be constructed within one and half years. “I don’t want “buts” or “ifs”, I want it constructed within one and half years,” he said.

He said he would be personally inspecting the construction work to ensure that it meets the deadline.

However, his speech was interjected by coughs. It was not immediately clear if he is suffering from a cough – which is a minor problem.

The president told the people gathered, including the ruling Democratic Progressive Party supporters that his government is set to make health care a great success in the country.

He also told the ministry of Health to hold private sector health care as partners to government not competitors.

Mutharikaalso said the government should always honour its agreement with Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM).

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9 thoughts on “Mutharika issues stern warning to Malawi health workers over ‘cash-for-service’: Commences cancer center project”

  1. benjones says:

    Mother Malawi has become a land of torture.

  2. Chilungamo says:

    If you want the staff to offer good service, improve their salaries and also pay the salaries in time how do you expect them to work with an empty stomach because of poor salary or delayed salary. First things first!

  3. mtete says:

    Pido must be one of the Cashgaters and Mulakho. Kuzolowela kuba.

  4. namasina says:

    World class health care in Malawi? Dream on! You can`t even get basic drugs in Malawi hospitals.The other day, I was reading about the poor state in the guardian quarters at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Blantyre. Fix this one first then dream of an air ambulance!

  5. Rift Valley says:

    Always going for easy stuff. How many times have we heard of warnings and nothing gets done? What is urgently required is zeroing in on those on Cashgate Files.

  6. It’s good Mr President to dream of world class health care. But let’s start by addressing the basics. The health budget, shortage of health workers and low morale of staff, lack of basic medicines, congested and decaying hospital facilities, mismanagement of health services… Only then can we raise our bar higher and aim to have world class services.

  7. Chimanga says:

    Air ambulance? my foot. Anthu tikukanika kuchita maintain ma ambulansi a magalimoto ndeye tilote zimenezi?

    1. Pido says:

      You, so called chimanga, stop thinking like bakha. You think an air ambulance is impossible? There are persons in the country who own aircrafts and you think that is impossible for the government? Kuzolowera khukhala wosauka basi. Let people think positively and the country can then move from this level to the next. Take politics out of the picture, and you will see that it is the local malawian that benefits more than the executive arm of government

      1. Malawian Duterte says:

        What to you know about air ambulance Pido? Actually, what do you know about healthcare delivery? In-fact, what is health? As others have already said it, how can we dream of air ambulance when we can’t repair our ambulance vehicles. Even those running ambulances, there is no single ambulance with basic equipment to administer first aid, understand me, first aid, not resuscitation (life saving treatment). As if that is worse, the drivers driving our ambulance vehicles, not only are careless (some drivers are drunk while on duty, refuse to work-up or come late, hours, after being called) standard 8, JCE and MSCE dropouts but they have never been trained in any basic life support techniques or procedures. Yet, if you ask most of them, they have assisted delivery of babies en-route to wherever they have been referred. God knows these lucky babies survive, for the unfortunate ones, they die, sometimes including their mothers.

        If you could just see what countries within SADC region like Zambia, TZ, RSA can offer interms of ambulance crew, you couldn’t have said felt sorry for backing things you don’t have knowledge about, just for the sake of the party. I tell you, their ambulance drivers are far much better than most nurses and clinicians in malawi in as far as handling and administering life saving treatment is concerned. Our relatives are dying in the hospitals not only because the hospitals are understocked (like your mbuya back in 20120 but also because most of the doctors don’t know what to do especially in times of emergency situation like severe trauma and cardiac arrest. Ask them how many hospitals or even wards at QECH or KCH have an emergency cart or defibrator? Go to ward 3B or 4A at QECH and let them show you if they have. They will show you an emergency tray with expired drugs, God knows when was the tray contents were check-listed. There are so many problems facing the country’s healthcare right now than ever before. Many lives are facing increasing risk everyday, unnecessarily. Yet the president has some nerves to talk like that. Isn’t it his minister of finance who told civil servants to resign if the salary is not enough because there is no way salaries will be increased for the 3rd time now since the DPP came in government. Now because of shortages, the clinicians can’t leave the hospitals to do private work as such they are charging their patients instead of leaving them there. Tell your president that We the clinicians and nurses, we are not stopping charging the patients.

        So please, you and your dumb president spare us from your stupid dreams because we’re not stupid as you’re. Stop lying to people as if were are in 1964 (about to get independence). For God’s sake, it has been 52 years since independence.

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