Malawi’s Minister of finance Goodall Gondwe has accused the Ministry of Health (MoH) of spending its budgetary allocation on insignificant things like travel while hospitals were lacking funds to perform important operations.
The minister made the remarks while presenting the mid-term budget statement in Lilongwe on Friday.
The ministry of health has over the past year been said to have been underfunded, a situation that led to problems in the country’s public hospitals as the facilities did not have money to buy fuel for ambulances or to provide patients with three meals per day.
The blame was placed at treasury’s door with stakeholders accusing it of not providing enough funding to the ministry of health.
However, in Parliament on Friday Gondwe noted that funding has gone as planned in almost all ministries and added that underfunding of functions in some ministries has been caused due to reprioritisation of functions by managers.
The minister of finance claimed that managers in the ministry of health prioritised spending on travel rather than on important functions in public hospitals.
Said Gondwe: “questions will be asked how if funding has gone as planned in almost all ministries, [why is] it that there have been complaints against underfunding of functions. In some cases the reason has been that certain ministries have reprioritised functions according to the wishes of managers. We found that ministries tend to prioritise expenditure on travel at the expense of other important items like fuel for ambulances in hospitals, in the case of Ministry of Health.”