NATIONAL NEWS

Health workers for direct Covid-19 funding

By Loness Gwazanga – Mana.

Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital(QECH), Director, Dr Samson Mndolo has asked government to consider funding Covid-19 response resources directly to the hospital and Blantyre District Health Office (DHO) from the mother Ministry to avoid strikes by workers emanating from unpaid dues.

Since Covid-19 was declared a disaster in March, 2020, government had been funding Hospitals and Councils through Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA), a process which described as wrong.

Dr Mndolo told Deputy Minister of Health, Chrissie Kalamula Kanyasho Friday in Blantyre during a familiarization tour where she wanted to find out if funds were paid straight into the institutions accounts.

“As for QECH, we have always been funded direct from Ministry of Health and things have been okay since we were able to pay our health workers without any difficulties. But now, things have changed as all funds will be disbursed through DODMA, which is a very long process,” he noted. 

The Director said that, “Am afraid things will go bad once funds start delaying and will eventually be in the same situation as Blantyre DHO where health workers are refusing to work as they are yet to be paid their accumulated allowances. We want the funds to be readily available so that workers are paid once they finish working rather than waiting for them to work for months and start claiming.”

Kanyasho expressed her satisfaction for the work being done to fight the pandemic despite unfavourable conditions.

She assured that government would look into the matter and act accordingly in order to make sure that the battle is successfully won.

“I have learnt a lot of things through this visit and am a better informed person now. I have taken note of all the concerns and government will address them soon,” the Deputy Minister explained.

Apart from QECH, Kanyasho toured Kameza Quarantine Centre which is under renovation where she assured that additional staff would be recruited so that the centre was fully equipped.

Blantyre DHO currently owes its front liners who were working at the isolation facility allowances amounting to K 50 million. 

This has resulted to a total closure of the centre and Covid-19 patients are being sent to QECH for treatment.

Blantyre has recorded 1,095 Covid-19 cases with 822 active cases of which 18 of them are currently admitted to QECH and 33 deaths.

Mana/lg/mmm/tha

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