State House press office has said President Peter Mutharika agrees with the people of Phalombe on their concerns over the delayed construction of the district hospital.
Presidential Press Secretary Gerald Viola said this in reaction to the petition which Phalombe residents presented to Mutharika through the District Commissioner on Monday.
The residents asked Mutharika to go to the district within 14 days and hear people’s concerns over the government’s failure to construct a hospital or else the expansion work on Phalombe Health Centre will be stopped.
Although Mutharika is yet to see the petition as, procedurally, it has to go through the Chief Secretary and the line ministry before the President sees and responds to it.
“Perhaps we need to appreciate that the President is also among those people in Phalombe as he is there as their President and is equally concerned with the healthy problems that are being faced that side. On the President visiting the district within 14 days, I would say the petition might take time before reaching the President and he might take time to respond to it as there are procedures that are supposed to be followed before the President comes up with the response.
“However, it is the President’s wish to ensure that that hospital is constructed. We know that other drastic measures will be undertaken to make sure that the process is quickened, more especially after the passing of this budget. But for the people to come up with a petition that’s fine and it is their right to do that,” Viola said.
The petitioners said for more than once, the government has been assuring the community that funds have been identified but there is nothing tangible on the ground.
The people are seeking answers on why the work is not in progress and where the money that Parliament has been approving for the hospital construction goes.
They claim that they are being denied access to health services which is a human right as there is lack of maternal facilities, inadequate services on treatment and lack of medical personnel.
They also said long distances with poor road network bring hardships to patients referred to Zomba and Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, distances of over 100 kilometres.
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