Kamuzu Central Hospital increases bypass fee


Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) management says patients seeking services at the hospital without referral letters from health centres will now be required to pay K10,000 bypass fees.

Previously, such patients were paying K2,500 bypass fee to access treatment at the main referral hospital.

A public notice at the hospital says the revision follows an observation that some patients go straight to KCH without first presenting their cases at health centres or other lower hospitals.

“This affects the ability of Kamuzu Central Hospital to provide it’s services in an effective and efficient manner,” reads part of the notice signed by Hospital Director Jonathan Ngoma.

The notice adds that the bypass fee was first introduced to discourage people from bypassing their nearest health centres and beginning on 1 August, 2023, the fee will be increased to K10,000.

Speaking to the local media, health expert Professor Adamson said the fee aims at decongesting central hospitals.

However, health rights activist Dingani Mithi has argued that the new fee will deter a lot of Malawians from accessing medical assistance at the referral facility considering the economic challenges people are facing.

He added that government should equip health centres with necessary medical supplies in order to discourage people from going to referral hospitals for medical assistance.