Ndamera Area Development Committee (ADC) has written Nsanje district health officer Alexander Chijuwa, demanding transfer of staff at Ndamera Health Centre for unprofessional conduct.
Chijuwa acknowledged receipt of the petition when contacted for comment on Thursday.
According to the petition, which is signed by the ADC chairperson Samuel Kasakatira and others, patients from the surrounding communities are failing to access services at the facility because they cannot meet the demands of the health workers.
It says the medics are demanding bribes in the range of K5 000 and above, which is disadvantaging the poor.
The alleged fraud is reported to be spreading to other rural health centres in the district where patients are being turned away without accessing services because they failed to palm-oil health workers.
“Thus, were demanding immediate transfer of the health workers because they are putting lives of poor Malawians at risk as they have nowhere to access the treatment for free,” Kasakatira emphasised in an interview yesterday.
Chijuwa said he could not rule the allegations out, but explained that patients, too, must shoulder the blame for instigating corruption in public health facilities.
He ruled out transferring the health workers.
Chijuwa has since advised patients whose rights have been violated in the district to take the matter up with the Office of the Ombudsman if they are not satisfied with his intervention. n