Bishop John Ryan of Mzuzu Diocese of the Catholic Church’s Bhas urged government to employ nursing school graduates to fill up the high vacancy rate in the health sector.
Government recently pledged that at least 1 000 health workers will be recruited in the 2018/19 financial year.
Speaking at St John of God College of Health Sciences graduation ceremony in Mzuzu on Friday, Ryan bemoaned the high vacancy rate in public health facilities, saying this is because “government takes too long to employ graduates”.
The bishop also said government has been reducing pre-service training budget over the last few years which is affecting colleges’ operations.
Said Ryan: “We call on government to adequately fund the training of health personnel and for the immediate employment of graduates in health facilities around Malawi.”
He said there is almost a 100 percent vacancy rate for clinical psychologists and consultant psychiatrists.
In his remarks, St John of God Hospital director Charles Masulani said the human resource capacity on mental health issues is worse as the country has four psychiatrists, with only one currently practising.
In an interview, Ministry of Health (MoH) spokesperson Joshua Malango said government will advertise for health workers for both central and district hospitals as well as health centres.