Government probes Indian hospital over fake cancer treatment
The Ministry of Health says it is investigating reports that one of the hospitals in India where Malawi refers some of its patients has been administering inappropriate injections on Malawian patients as cure for cancer.
According to Ministry of Health, the referral facility, Artemis Hospital, is being alleged to have been treating patients with inappropriate injections.
The revelation comes after the Indian government detained a Turkish national and arrested three others at the facility for allegedly supplying fake chemo injections to cancer patients.
Apparently, the health care institution where the incident happened is among a list of referral hospitals where Government of Malawi sends patients diagnosed with cancer for treatment.
Malawi News understands that government through the Ministry of Health has just referred some cancer patients for treatment at the hospital.
Speaking in an interview, Ministry of Health spokesperson Adrian Chikumbe confirmed that the hospital is among the referral hospitals where Malawi refers cancer patients.
“It is true that this is one of the hospitals in India where we send our patients on external referral.
“It has been one of the hospitals with international repute for a long time. They have highly trained human resource, appropriate infrastructure, equipment and medical supplies,” Chikumbe said.
He further confirmed social media reports that a healthcare provider at the facility was treating patients with inappropriate medication.
“This is not only unbelievable but also unethical, unprofessional and deplorable. The current requirement is that healthcare services be provided with strict compliance to internationally set regulations,” Chikumbe said.
He said the ministry is concerned and that it will get to the bottom of the matter.
Chikumbe said the ministry will task Malawi’s foreign mission in India with engaging the hospital and establish the truth before making the next move.
Media reports claim that an Indian medical expert who is believed to have been recommending the name of the pharmacy for the injections is also under investigations.
Spokesperson for Society of Medical doctors in Malawi Zaziwe Gundah said the revelations, if true, are a wake-up call for the government to ensure due diligence when engaging foreign private hospitals.
“We are deeply saddened to hear that one of the referral hospitals in India has been conducting itself unethically and endangering life of our brothers and sisters. This is a wake-up call to the Government of Malawi to do due diligence in identifying referral hospitals for treatment of cancer and other diseases,” Gundah said.
At best, said Gundah, this should move the government to complete the construction of cancer hospital in Lilongwe.
In September 2020, Ministry of Health told the nation that there were close to 300 patients on waiting list for external referral treatment.