Minister of Health, Peter Kumpalume, has admitted that abuse of resources when setting up government facilities is negatively affecting delivery of health services in the country, as most projects are abandoned or ignored due to bloated figures.
Kumpalume says the situation has made the Ministry fail to renovate most of its health facilities, forcing the citizenry to receive treatment from below standard institutions.
Speaking while touring College of Medicine (CoM) in Blantyre today, Kumpalume Kumpalume said abuse of financial resources has put the ministry at a situation where it suspends most projects due to limited finances.
“A few greedy individuals who want to benefit out of the poor are embezzling money in the health system, projects have stalled. We need to jointly come up with a monitoring mechanism, follow ethics and be patriotic.
“It is sad to note that for an individual to carry out a project the cost is reasonable but for the same project to be carried out by government the figures multiplies,” he lamented.
Kumpalume also blamed incompetency among health workers for the poor services in health facilities.
A senior lecturer at CoM, Professor John Chisi bemoaned the harsh conditions patients are subjected to in public hospitals.
“Had it been that Medical Council of Malawi was to execute its policy on standards, most public facilities would have been closed down by now. It is imperative that no matter how poor Malawi is, the health sector should be prioritised,” said Chisi.
Associate professor Frank Taulo urged Kumpalume to set strategies that would help sustain plans in the health sector.
During the meeting, Kumpalume revealed plans by government to start advertising vacancies for specific health facilities after noting that most health personnel want to work in urban areas, leaving rural centres at a disadvantage.
Malawi has a doctor patient ratio of 1:70 000, against the World Health organisation (WHO) recommended ratio of 1:600.