Malawi Government says it is reintroducing the paying facilities in all public health institutions across the country as one way of working at improving health service delivery in government hospitals.
In an interview Malawi’s Secretary for Health Charles Mwansambo confirmed the development.
He, however, said the paying policy was never abolished, but that most public hospitals made unilateral decisions to abolish it after they felt that they were not directly benefiting much from the money realised from the hospital fees.
“We have had discussions with directors of different public hospitals and also the Ministry of Finance on the reintroduction of the paying services and wards,” said Mwansambo.
He was speaking on the sidelines of an orientation meeting for Ministry of Health managers on the magnitude of unsafe abortion in the country.
The bone of contention with the paying system was that the money collected was sent directly to the government consolidated account and most managers from the facilities felt that they were not having enough for what they were contributing.
“Those funds will be used to improve the facilities and provide better services,” he said.
Mwansambo said the pricing structure for the facilities will be guided by the Ministry of Health headquarters depending on the cost of delivery of a particular service.
The issue of reintroducing pay facilities in public hospitals was among several issues that doctors and administrators raised during a crisis meeting with the President in February this year, at the peak of the country’s drug shortage, which saw only five percent of essential drugs available in public hospitals.