Barely a week after shifting management and administration offices to the newly constructed Nkhata Bay District Hospital, heavy utility bills have already surfaced rendering the district health office helpless in the face of current funding trends to district hospitals.
Nkhata Bay district health officer (DHO) Albert Mkandawire says electricity bills alone are pegged at K6 million (about $8 167) per month.
“As you can see this is the biggest hospital in the district and it is consumes a lot of electricity as well as water as we don’t have alternatives, as compared to the older site which was close to the lake.
“Most guardians used to wash and bath at the lake but here we don’t have that alternative, hence we are solely dependent on piped water which in turn makes our bills swell,” he said.
Mkandawire has also cited shortage of staff as another headache at the facility.
“We are having a deficit of at least four senior health personnel at this facility” he said.
He pleaded with government to reconsider hiking its budgetary allocation to the facility to sustain the flow of services.
Meanwhile Presidential advisor on national unity, Vuwa Kaunda says government will intervene. He was responding to the calls following his recent visit to the facility.
“We want to assure authorities here as well as all beneficiaries that government will not forsake them, we will work hand in hand to address the problems affecting service delivery until the facility stabilises,” said Kaunda. n