Health reforms a flop – Analyst

Health rights campaigner Dr. Dorothy Ngoma says government has failed Malawians on health sector reforms.

Dr. Ngoma told YFM that since the reforms were launched in February 2015 there has been little transformation in the health sector.

She cited, continued unavailability of drugs in public hospitals and understaffing as critical areas that remain pathetic four years after the introduction of the public sector reforms.

“I have been on the ground myself, from Nsanje to Chitipa I have seen how poor women and children are suffering. There are no drugs in public hospitals, if u happen to be lucky what you get is one or two tables of medicine and the rest you are told to buy from a private pharmacy,” she said.

Ngoma also lamented that the reforms this far have failed to meet the need for adequate health personnel a development which is undermining international requirements for quality health care delivery.

“Inadequate medical personnel is another challenge which is showing no ending sides in Malawi. In most hospitals and health centres one health personnel is attending to more than 4000 patients which is against the World Health Organization’s (WHO) requirement which puts the ration at 1 to 1000,” she stressed.

Adding to the point she also said: “It is sad that this continues to be the challenge rocking the health sector when government is failing to employ more nurses that were trained on tax payer’s expense. Instead of employing them to deal the challenge, government is busy making false promises”.

She blamed it all on lack of political will to improve the country’s health sector.

“Without mincing words, government has failed us. I thought government has the powers to provide direction on issues that are not working but what we see is contrary. They seem satisfied seeing poor Malawians dying because there is no medicine in hospitals.”

The health sector reforms are part of the Malawi Public Sector Reforms’ journey which began on 11th February 2015.

The aim of the reforms were to enhance and foster a new governance arrangement that will raise standards of performance of the Malawi public service and ensure delivery of quality public goods and services to the citizenry.

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