The malpractice according to the Ministry has rooted itself in district hospitals and has not spared central health facilities.
Commenting on the development in a statement, Secretary for Health, Dan Namarika, said while some public health facilities across the country have options for private wards that demand a considerate amount for the services, others do not warrant payment to anyone to access health services in public hospitals.
Namarika’s sentiments come barely a few days after legislator for Lilongwe Central Alfred Jiya exposed how some medical personnel at Kamuzu Central Hospital were benefitting from the scam.
In his narration Jiya said a member of his constituency approached him demanding about K93,000 being payment to get treated at Prosthetics /Orthotics Centre at KCH.
“When I heard that, I was shocked and immediately called Namarika who requested me to bring some evidence. Today I came here at KCH and indeed the hospital staff at the centre told me to pay the said amount if the patient was to be treated.
“I told them that I only had K40,000 which they received and told me to bring the remainder later. Funny enough they never gave me a receipt and I reported the matter to police who took the two officials, a receptionist and a medical assistant for questioning,” Jiya said.
The media also reported that one Gilian Nkhalamba was charged K400,000 for her patient to undergo knee operation. Nkhalamba disclosed that the medical officers told her that she should not get surprised with the amount because at that very day some Chinese nationals who were involved in an accident coughed K800,000 to jump the queue.
Namarika emphasized that the Ministry is not amused with such reports and no person should pay for any health care service in any of the government health facilities across the country. He has since urged all members of the public to report such incidences to responsible authorities.
“Only those who have opted to get services from paying departments should do so and you should always demand for an official government receipt for the services you have received and paid for,” said Namarika.