Why should Malawians pay twice for the healthcare services?

It is indisputable fact that issues concerning citizenry healthcare services are one of the priorities of every functional government of the people in a democratic society like Malawi.

The masses in every country who take part of their precious time once in a very five years casting their vote electing political leaders, gate nothing much in return but trivial accountable services from their own elected government.

A couple of days ago, I come across a sad story posted by Nyasa Times (http://www.nyasatimes.com/2013/02/23/malawians-should-start-paying-for-health-services-kwataine/ ) revealing that Malawians should start paying for the healthcare services rendered by the public hospitals in the country.

It is reported that the call was made by Mrs. Kwataine the Executive Director of Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) raising a number of questions that needs to be answered.

Kwataine: Health services should be paid for
Kwataine: Health services should be paid for

She argued that “Government through the Ministry of Health is making effort(providing free healthcare services to the citizens) but it is never enough as the resources base look strained so many time therefore the need for Malawians to start paying for the services.”

 Is this the reason why poor Malawians should start paying for treatment in the public hospitals despite their poverty?. Another reason according to her is because District Hospitals near bordering countries such as Mozambique render services to foreigners.

Now my question is; should poor Malawians in villages suffer simply because foreigners consume 40% of their treatment? Or because the government legitimately entrusted by the very same  poor people to look after them using their Tax payers money is failing to fund the health sector in the country?.

Using simple logic, I find that Mrs. Kwataine is trying to tell Malawians in other way round that their government has failed its first duty to protect its citizens by ensuring that all the borders are thoroughly closed for the intruders. One may argue saying that these people do not cross the well-established border posts but rather do so illegally, again here whose fault is that?

And, or should we blame medical attendants in such hospitals to why they treat intruders? Again here I find no tangible reason to do so because how would they know that they are not Malawians since people living in borders speak languages of the two countries. Meaning to say, they can only be identified by their national IDs of which Malawians do not possess, again whose fault is that? To me its government’s.

Let not children suffer for the sins committed by their parents! So goes a saying in scriptures. The failure of one should not put others in trouble. I therefore suggest that the government should take other measurements to improve the funding of the public health sector using the Tax payers’ money.

To differentiate between a local citizen and an intruder should be done by providing IDs to all Malawians so that when they go to public health centers should be identified with.

Making poor Malawians to start repaying for the treatment gotten from public hospitals which they are already paying through Tax payers Kwacha is not at all a solution to the problems as elucidated by Mrs. Kwataine. Thus I believe that Malawi is for all and not for the haves only who can afford paying for such services. Think about the poor first before the haves when taking such decisions.

*The author is a Malawian Political Scientist currently residing in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Feedback can be forwarded to: +60133438727

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