US backs government on suspended health officials

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United States ambassador to Malawi Virginia Palmer has commended government for suspending 63 ministry of health officials.

The health workers are accused of mismanagement of funds meant for allowances and fuel.

In her statement, Palmer said the decision will eradicate the numerous malpractices happening in government.

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“I commend the Minister of Health, the Chief Secretary and the Principal Secretary for Health for taking this bold step to root out corruption in the civil service. It is this kind of accountability that will make Public Sector Reform real and Malawi strong and prosperous,” said Palmer. She also said the suspension will hold people accountable for the misuse of funds meant to improve the health sector.

“We are hopeful that the audit will identify those responsible and that they will be held fully accountable for the misuse of funds intended to improve the health of Malawian citizens.”

“The audit will also exonerate those Ministry of Health officials fulfilling their important, life-saving duties with the integrity and commitment which have been the hallmark of Malawi’s public service,” reads part of the statement.

The workers who include director of human resources, director of finance and two chief accountants have been suspended to pave way for audit investigations.

Malawians continue to get limited access to health services and this affect a large number of poor citizens. While most public health services are free for the patients, Malawians receive substandard care.

This has come at a time the health care sector in the country has been affected by limited and inadequate resources due to abuse.

The abuse has contributed to increased government expenditure on health care which has coincided with a decrease in the country’s dependence on external health care resources.

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