Queens Hospital management faces disciplinary action


The Medical Council of Malawi (MCM) board is expected to commence disciplinary hearing on the management of Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) over an industrial action that took place about two months ago at the hospital’s Adult, Emergency and Trauma Centre.

MCM, Registrar Abel Kawonga said yesterday his board is scheduled to start hearing the matter today.  “We have reports of a patient with obstructed intestinal problem who was neglected at the facility. Under normal scenario, the facility ought to have left some skeletal staff to attend to such situations which are emergency in nature,” he said.

Speaking on the spate of industrial actions in hospitals, Kawonga said “in such situations we make remedial arrangements to bring the parties on a table to avoid such a situation. But we mostly act based on reports and concerns of people.


“Most people do not know what constitutes abuse from health practitioners. However, it has always been our desire to conduct awareness exercises but financial limitations constrain us,” he said.

Recent industrial actions include those at the Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH), Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) and recently those from the Christian Health Association of Malawi (Cham) facilities.

However, Medical Association of Malawi President, Dr. Edgar Kuchingale says in order to minimize harm, medical ethics call for workers not to close critical services such as maternity, theatre and other emergency services in such times. “We are against people going to strike and disrupting all services at the facility. At no time should health practitioners shut down the whole facility.


“That’s why before people go to strike, they need to contact us for advice on how to deal with the professional gap in the course of the action,” he said. Labour lawyer, Mauya Msuku, however, says

awareness of the balance between ethical issues and rights could be a missing point. “Every profession has ethics but they should be balanced with their rights. Assuming employees give notice, should they be stopped on the basis of morals? “No, ethics must be balanced with rights to fair labour practices. Assuming laws allow employees to strike, even for those that want to strike, the law has put in place safeguard measures,” he said.



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