President Lazarus Chakwera says his administration will over the next four years address challenges health workers are facing in order to ensure significant progress in their conditions of service.
He made the remarks this morning at Sunbird Nkopola in Mangochi where he opened the Society of Medical Doctors, (SMD) 9th Annual Medical Conference.
President Chakwera said doctors face various challenges including high vacancy rate, long working hours, lack of proper equipment in hospitals and low salaries.
The Malawi leader said conditions of service for doctors in Malawi leave a lot to be desired as the doctors receive salaries that are the lowest in the SADC region.
He then promised that his administration will over the next years address the problem so that there is significant progress in the doctors’ conditions of service relative to other professions.
“I am confident that SMD will work patiently with my administration over the long haul on a new edifice of benefits for healthcare workers,” said Chakwera.
On vacancies in the health sector, Chakwera said his administration has already recruited hundreds of health workers and this will continue under every budget.
Chakwera also said that the Tonse Alliance Government will roll out a nationwide initiative to give all public health facilities a facelift. He added that he will urge development partners and private sector players to assist government in this regard.
“If Covid-19 has taught anything, it is that we cannot rely on external referrals. We need to put our house in order and build advanced treatment centres with world class diagnostic and treatment equipment,” said Chakwera.
He then demanded the Ministry of Health to develop an action plan for fixing everything that is broken in public health facilities.
The Malawi leader, during the speech, also thanked health workers for their work in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic which has seen 50,000 people in Malawi recovering from Covid-19.
He noted that doctors provided treatment, raised awareness about the disease and mobilized resources for the fight against the pandemic.
Chakwera revealed that he has made arrangements to provide cash prize to healthcare workers who were honoured under the Zikomo Awards earlier this year.