Medics and patients at Mapale health centre in Malawi’s northern region district of Mzuzu have expressed worry over congestion at the facility saying it is leading to many patients being unattended to.
Patients who spoke to our reporter on Wednesday disclosed that the problem is greatly affecting them.
A patient at Mapale, Mavuto Ntchongwe revealed that for a patient to be attended to, he needs to go there before 5 o’clock in the morning to find a front sit.
Almost all patients who talked to Malawi24 echoed the same adding that medics at the facility worsen the problem because they report late for work.
They claimed that some medics report as late as 11 o’clock and at 12 noon they break for lunch leaving many patients on the long line waiting.
“Look till now there is no one in the pharmacy to give us medicine but at 12 we are breaking for lunch. We are not being helped,” complained another patient.
Medics whom Malawi24 interviewed at the facility attributed the problem to the introduction of crossover fee at Mzuzu central hospital.
Speaking on condition of anonymity one medic confessed that the fee has led to many poor patients flocking to Mapale where services are almost free.
“Before that at least the pressure was not like this but now we fail to effectively attend to all of them. We tell some to come the next day,” said the medic.
Another medic confirmed that punctuality is indeed a problem at the facility. She said some report very late for unknown reasons.
When this reporter visited Mzuzu central hospital, he established that the pressure at this referral facility has been reduced unlike before the introduction of a crossover fee.
Several attempts to get views from the ministry of health publicist on the matter proved futile as he did not pick up his phone.