7 December, 2022

Parliament wants answers on public hospital autonomy plans

Parliament intends to summon the Secretary to the President and Cabinet – SPC to outline progress concerning the government’s proposal to make independent the country’s four public referral hospitals.

In a bid to ensure provision of top-notch services, the government plans to let the Queen Elizabeth, Zomba, Kamuzu and the Mzuzu central hospitals have their own boards and to purchase own modern equipment and drugs.

It follows concerns about the poor quality of services that are offered in Malawian public hospitals which often force those who can afford to opt for private hospitals or foreign treatment.

Chairperson of Parliament’s Health Committee, Mathews Ngwale, hopes that while the hospitals will get the opportunity to make money; the public will start enjoying quality health care regardless of status.

“Government has been talking about making the four central hospitals autonomous so that they can have a higher level service provision, and those seeking health services will be asked to pay at a premium,” Ngwale said.

According to Ngwale when people are sent outside the country for treatment and a majority of those having access to such treatment are children or members of the family of prominent people in the society, while ordinary Malawians are dying from treatable diseases.

“The best way is to raise the profile of our central hospitals to the level of hospitals found in India, Tanzania, Kenya,South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania, when  these hospitals become autonomous they will be able to acquire state of the art equipment, raise their own funds and operate at a highest level,” he said.

He stressed that the proposal to have central hospitals become independent will operate in line with health insurance for the citizenry and anyone will access treatment regardless of their status using their insurance.

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