Health personnel accused of taking kickbacks from Mozambicans

Malawi24.com

Medical Assistants and Nurses at Nambazo Health Centre in Phalombe district have been accused of taking sweeteners from Mozambican nationals in exchange with health services.

Members of the communities around the health facility have confided with Malawi24 in an interview expressing their dissatisfaction with what they allege that the health workers are doing at the facility.

On a condition of anonymity, one of the members of the community said people from Malawi may arrive at the hospital at around 7AM but they stay there up to 12 noon without being helped but to their surprise they see Mozambicans carrying gifts such as chickens and giving the health personnel.

“We can stay up to around 3PM without seeing the medical assistant because of the congestion but let me tell you here that Mozambicans are the ones who delay us.

“While on the queue we see some Mozambicans carrying things such as beans in plastic bags and others chickens in their armpits and they leave these things in the doctor’s office off they go with drugs in their hands,” said a 54-year-old woman who hails from the area of traditional authority Chiwalo.

One traditional leader who also asked not to be named with fears that the hospital management might be sidelining patients from her village confirmed that this malpractice has been there for some time.

Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Dennis Namachekecha, when asked if his constituents once complained about the matter to him, said they have never said anything to him.

However, he acknowledged the good relationship between Malawi and Mozambique and he said if what is being claimed is true then this problem shall be solved when presenting of national identity cards by Malawian citizens shall be a must in the health facilities.

“I don’t know anything as an MP for the area but I understand there’s a cordial relationship between us and Mozambican government, so we can’t chase the Mozambicans that they shouldn’t be receiving medical assistance here up until that time when showing of national IDs shall be a must,” said Phalombe North East Constituency parliamentarian in a telephone interview.

When asked about the matter, Phalombe district health office spokesperson, Daniel Chilomo, labelled the issue as untrue but he was quick to say that the matter has been taken up by relevant authorities for investigations.

“It’s not true. It might be that the Mozambicans come earlier than others and you know that they are given numbers when they are on the lines waiting to see the doctors.

“However, we have taken up this and we have discussed that we are going to launch an investigation into this matter,” said Chilomo.

Nambazo Health Centre is located in the eastern of the northern part of Phalombe district and it is a close to the border between Malawi the Portuguese speaking nation.

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