Malawi Congress Party (MCP) member of Parliament (MP)for Dedza East Juliana Lunguzi, has decried overreliance by government on development partners to finance the majority of the health sector budget and asked Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe to reverse the trend.
In her contribution to the 2015/16 proposed budget which Gondwe presented in Parliament on May 22, Lunguzi described the financial plan as an insult to taxpayers because there was no indication that it would propel Malawi to economic prosperity this year or in future.
She added the budget will not boost wealth creation at household level either.
According to Lunguzi’s findings, Dedza District Hospital would receive K110 million (US$244 444) instead of K315 million (US$700 000), Nkhata Bay District Hospital budget has gone down from K139 million (US$308 889) to K82 million (US$182 222), while Chikwawa District Hospital will get K134 million (US297 778) against its proposed budget of K226 million (US$502 222).
Lunguzi said challenges of inadequate and outdated medical equipment, drug stockouts, dilapidated infrastructure and health worker shortages would not be addressed with 25 percent funding from government.
She said: “When off-budget funding exceeds government allocations to critical ministries, you do not need further proof that those ‘governing’ admit that they do not know how to manage the basic needs of Malawians, the most important being good health.”
Lunguzi proposed that making central hospitals autonomous and using resources effectively would resolve hospital administration constraints.