Health Ministry warns, on charging patients in public hospitals

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By Justin Mkwewu

The Ministry of Health has  issued a stern warning to medical practitioners against swindling money from patients in public hospitals.

It has been noted that some practitioners demand money from patients and guardians on free medical services.

In a statement, Secretary for Health Dan Namarika has warned that disciplinary action will be leveled against anyone found guilty.

Services in public hospitals in the country are offered free of charge, except for paying sections in selected major facilities.

Namarika has stressed that it is unethical for health workers to be charging patients for services which are supposed to be free in public hospitals.

“The ministry will use the Malawi Public Service Regulations to dismiss any public servant found guilty of the offence,”Namarika warned.

Most public hospitals have been under the microscope over various malpractices especially drug pilferage which remains a major challenge in most facilities. 

“The ministry will be monitoring hospital management in all hospitals on enforcement of this directive and shall take disciplinary action on any hospital Management which fails to comply with the order,” he added.

Patients visiting the paying sections are being advised to ensure that the money should only be paid to the cashier and get a government receipt.

Members of the public have therefore been advised to be alert and report any suspicious activity to the hospital ombudsman for redress.


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