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Peter Mutharika faulted over United States healthcare

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National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives (NONM) has said as President Peter Mutharika is bragging about his United States healthcare scheme, he should also be bragging about the healthcare for majority of Malawians who are suffering in the corridors of the underfunded public health facilities across the country.

Mutharika told a press briefing at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Friday that his medical scheme is in the United States and it could be crazy to come back to Malawi after the United Nations General Assembly (Unga) before getting medical attention for rheumatism from the best doctors in that country.

NONM Chairperson, Dorothy Ngoma, said it is unfortunate that politicians including the President continue to use taxpayers’ money to buy quality healthcare services from outside the country when the taxpayer is literally toiling to access the same within the country.

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“It is not a problem for him to access quality healthcare for himself. He has that right to health care. But what is very crucial in that is about the ordinary people, the poorest of the poor, children and women who are suffering in the corridors of our hospitals. These are the people who are spending days sleeping in overcrowded hospitals, without drugs, without food while their leaders are enjoying good healthcare abroad,” Ngoma said.

She said leaders are given power to ensure the provision of quality social services to the citizens and it is unfortunate that Mutharika is not doing what is needed.

Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) Executive Director, Timothy Mtambo, said the President having medical scheme in US tells volumes as to how he does not trust his own healthcare system while doing nothing about it.

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“My major problem is that our people are dying because of poor health facilities in the country. Indeed we are losing our brothers and sisters to avoidable deaths. It is an insult of the highest order for the President to proudly tell his suffering and dying people that he went to US because they have the best health facilities and that he has his scheme there; so insensitive.

“We cannot afford even basic pain killers in some government facilities. People are sent to pharmacies to buy medicines yet they do not have money because of the poor and ever dying economy, yet he has the audacity to tell Malawians like that. No! that was insensitive and if I were APM, I would apologise to my people…,” Mtambo said.

He said with that attitude, he does not think Mutharika will be committed to improve the health situation in the country and it is not surprising that the situation of Malawi’s health system has been worsening.

A member of Medical Council of Malawi, John Chisi, said as an individual, there is no problem for Mutharika to access health care in foreign lands but as a leader, it just shows the weaknesses in the system he is leading.

“It is about individual perceptions and that is now up to Malawians to bring out their own perceptions on what the leader is doing,” Chisi said.

Mutharika said he had a ‘slight’ surgery on his rheumatic right arm in the extra days he spent in the US after Unga

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