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Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

Treat health issues seriously

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It is disheartening that public hospitals, which serve as a lifeline for the country’s majority poor, are dowsing the very candle of hope they are supposed to instill in patients.

It is depressing to learn that the Dialysis Unit at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) has been closed due to non-payment of materials to the institution that supplies the same. This speaks volumes about how much attention the government pays to health issues.

We must not lose focus of the fact that QECH is one of the country’s referral hospitals. This means public officials have to be on top of things, instead of being reactionary.

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What is happening in the case of the Dialysis Unit at QECH is a typical case of misplaced policies and lop-sided thinking. More so when we consider that fees for use of dialysis machines in private hospitals are exorbitant, and not every Malawian can afford to part ways with between K65,000 and K80,000 for every four hours they spend on the machine.

We would like to believe that, by sending 18 patients from QECH to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH), the government is not saving any money. In fact, it is just worsening the system at KCH, as its resources are being stretched to accommodate victims of government’s oversight.

We would, therefore, like to ask the government to iron out its issues with Fresenius Medical Care South Africa Private Limited so that things can quickly normalise.

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Otherwise, with the government consistently failing to provide 15 percent to the national budget in line with the Abuja Declaration, effectively backtracking on its commitment to providing the same to the health sector for it to exude the hope it must inspire, Malawians have no hope for the future.

When it comes to issues of life and death, there should be no time for vain delays.

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