Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has asked private and public hospitals in the country to offer quality services to patients.
She said this on Thursday during a visit to Chiradzulu District Hospital and Blantyre Adventist Hospital (BAH) to monitor care of Covid-19 patients as well as to hear the challenges facing health facilities.
Said Chiponda: “Let us have strong asset management policies because our space is very limited and so we have to be careful and resourceful with our available efforts.
“Despite Blantyre Adventist Hospital being a private institution, I hope that we can be a bit reasonable in terms of what we charge since we are in Covid-19 pandemic.”
She also said her ministry is working with Treasury to ensure that district hospitals have adequate drugs and supplies.
The minister said part of the Covid-19 resources will help to buy other drugs that district hospitals do not have in stock.
“We know we should not focus on Covid-19 only because even those that contract the virus might have other underlining cases that need to be addressed.
“So we are looking at the case in a holistic manner so that we send the drugs to public hospitals soon,” she said.
In his remarks Chiradzulu district medical officer Raphael Bwenzani said despite receiving help from the central government and donors, shortage of drugs and other medical supplies remain.
“It is now almost four months that this hospital has not had an X-ray machine because the voltage regulator was blown out and we have been referring patients to St Joseph Hospital at Nguludi,” he said.
BAH quality and operation director Patrick Gausi said the lack of sufficient oxygen, among other problems, is significant.
“Since Afrox is the only big supplier of oxygen in the country, we find ourselves scrambling among other hospitals for the low available supply.
“Again, since our isolation facility only accommodates 11 patients we wish to increase our capacity and we are waiting for government’s approval on the same since the processes to commence this are underway,” he said.