Malawi: Law Commission Recommends People Pay in Public Hospitals

Government is yet to comment on recommendation from Special Law Commission that people should be paying a small nominal fee to access services in public health facilities.

The recommendation has been made after the review of the Public Health Act.

Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda could not be reached as she is reportedly with President Dr Lazarus Chakwera in New York, US for United Nations General Assembly.

But this is a sensitive political matter which previous administrations had shelved in fear of losing votes during elections.

Presenting the report, Justice Dingiswayo Madise, Chairperson of the Special Law Commission on the review of the Health Act said the report is recommending that employed people should have health insurance while non-employed should pay something to access the services.

Madise has told the Media in Lilongwe that Malawi is failing to meet the Abuja declaration on health financing, which requires that State Parties allocate a minimum of 15% of the National Budgets towards health services.

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He said, if people pay some amount in public hospitals the 15% budget allocation may be realized and some of the challenges facing the country's health sector may be solved. Madise said this has worked in Namibia.

The report has however, suggested that people should not be paying for vaccines, family planning and antenatal services, including emergencies such as accidents.

Artmotion S.Africa

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