Parliamentary Committee on Health chairperson Juliana Lunguzi has reignited the debate on user-fees in public hospitals as one way of enhancing service delivery and boosting health workers’ morale.
Speaking during results dissemination of Cycle 14 Results-Based Financing for Maternal and Newborn Health (RBF4MNH) rewards in- Lilongwe, Lunguzi who is member of Parliament for Dedza East (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) said the country is overburdened by the yoke of providing free healthcare even to foreigners.
“Our economy is struggling generally because production has gone down. Our budget is donor-dependent, this makes it hard to adequately fund the health-sector,” she said.
Lunguzi pointed out that Malawi is the only country in Southern Africa providing free health-care.
During the presentation, Mchinji District Hospital scooped the first position after scoring 93 percent in the grading.
RBF4MNH country director Matthew Nviiri said the programme supports government health policy and would not interfere if it wanted to introduce hospital user-fee.
In his speech, principal secretary in the Ministry of Health and Population Services Dan Namarika said use of vernacular when explaining medical terms to patients can help them understand their condition better.
“Other countries have done extremely well in health service delivery by using their own local languages which the patients understand better,” he said. n