Stakeholders in the health sector have called on government to find alternative means to ensure its adequate funding.
The stake holders yesterday engaged the Parliamentary Committee on Health to lobby for more funding to the sector to ensure that health facilities are equipped with adequate drugs and other medical items, personnel and infrastructure.
Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen) board vice-chairperson Crisy Motomoto said government should be the first to support the health sector and ensure that more resources are allocated to it.
“The health sector is always underfunded. We want government to increase funding towards the sector and make it a priority to ensure that lives are protected,” she said.
Motomoto added that government should be the primary financier of health services in the country, with donors’ support only beefing up the budget.
On his part, Mhen executive director George Jobe suggested that government should consider introducing levies such as on toll gates, beer and tobacco, to support health financing since they put pressure on health resources.
UNFPA assistant representative Dorothy Nyasulu also urged government to increase funding for the health sector to carry out activities without much challenges.
Committee chairperson Mathews Ngwale said while the health sector needs more support, citizens need to finance the health care services.
He said: “When it comes to health financing, it is something that people are avoiding. All these things we have discussed here, if we can’t have enough resources, there is no way we can increase any budget line.”
He further agreed with Jobe on levies, saying a certain percentage from mining proceeds and toll gates revenue should go towards health.