Balaka DHO accused of sidelining health structures


The Balaka Hospital Management Committee has faulted  the District Health Office (DHO) for working in isolation, saying a paying wing named after First Lady Madame Monica Chakwera was opened at the hospital without the  committee being consulted.

The committee has argued that the tendency of isolating the committee is likely to cripple operations of the hospital.

Committee Chairperson, James Kaluzi, alleges that, for quite sometime, the Balaka District Hospital administration has been implementing decisions regarding the running of the facility without consultations.

He claimed: “The committee was just put in place as a sign post, but, we are failing to fully exercise our duties because there is a hostile working relationship between the administration and us.”

This came out during an interface meeting with the Balaka Civil Society Organizations Network.

He cited an example where the Committee was by-passed on the decision to open a paying wing at the facility which was presided over by Her Excellency the first lady of the Republic of Malawi, Madame Monica Chakwera.

“As a committee, we felt it was not necessary to introduce a paying wing at Balaka District Hospital because, already, the hospital is struggling to provide care to the patients at the hospital. As a matter of fact, the Monica Chakwera wing is not functional at the moment,” he said.

However, Balaka District Hospital health promotion and public relations officer, Mercy Nyirenda, said the allegations are baseless.

Nyirenda emphasized that, there is a cordial relationship between the hospital administration and the Committee.

“We acknowledge the fact that this Committee is very important in as far as the running of our hospital is concerned. It was for that matter that, we spearheaded the establishment of the Committee to help us bridge the gap between us and the communities around, who are primary beneficiaries of the hospital.

She further said: “We always appreciate the role the committee plays and that’s why they were taken to Zomba Central and Ntcheu district hospitals to appreciate how their friends are operating paying wings which also helped the establishment of our wing here”.

Nyirenda has highlighted that the establishment of the wing at the facility is one of their reform areas to increase revenue generation base.

On the low turn-out at the wing, Nyirenda admitted that patients are not coming as per their expectations, but was hopeful “with increased awareness, they will be patronising the facility whose revenue will not only benefit the section, but also the general wards”.

Meanwhile, Balaka Civil Society Organizations Network Governance Committee Chairperson, Duncan Mapwesera has called on both parties to work in unison for the betterment of all the people in the district.

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