The effectiveness of the new Nkhata Bay District Hospital will be watered down if government does not invest in improving surrounding roads, head of the district council’s health committee has warned.
Councillor Bester Nyaunthali called for urgent reconstruction of the damaged Mzuzu-Nkhata Bay tarmac road when Plem Construction and Citi Building joint venture handed over part of the 350-bed hospital to Minister of Health Peter Kumpalume on Tuesday.
Since 2010, the $18.7 million (about K10.6 billion) facility has been in the news over delays as government struggled to pay the contractors on time.
She said: “We have a nice hospital. I can’t wait to see President Peter Mutharika finally open it next month, but the road is bad. It will be nice if we reconstruct the tarmac road between Nkhata Bay and Mzuzu to speed up transportation of critical patients.”
The minister, on his part, bemoaned the state of the unpaved roads on the new hospital campus, saying they are an eye sore
The access roads aside, the outstanding works, which site in-charge Mohandus Pillai forecast to be complete by the end of this month, include landscaping, painting and furnishing of rooms.
“ It is a day of pride. It is not just a beautiful structure, but also something that will change lives in the district,” said Kumpalume
Government still owes the contractors about K1.3 billion, said Pillai.