Government has backtracked on the decision to start charging medical fees in public hospitals after analysts and opposition parties opposed the idea.
Recently, Minister of Health Peter Kumpalume revealed that starting this July, poor Malawians will start paying for public hospital services.
Government made the decision as one way of raising funds to help the struggling economy back in shape.
According to information, adult Malawians was expected to be paying a minimum of K1,650 and children K750 inorder to access health services In public hospitals after government finalized the policy under current public reforms initiative.
However, on Monday Kumpalume swallowed his own words and dismissed the reports that government will start implementing User Fee in public hospitals by July this year.
Kumpalume in an interview with MBC blamed the media for creating the story.
Kumpalume said his ministry does not have policy document regarding the issue. He however said patients without referral documents will be paying by-pass fees in referral hospitals in the country.
The Minister is on record revealing that the policy to introduce user fee in public hospitals was waiting for cabinet’s seal of approval before seeking Parliament’s adoption.
“This is in line with the public reforms aimed to improve healthcare as well as improving efficiency and quality services,” Kumpalume said then.
“We want to make the health sector more efficient and hospitals should generate funds on their own through the fee that people will be paying when they want to access the medical services and will also
want to improve the conditions in the government hospitals”.
The Mutharika government already announced plans to privatize private hospitals’ mortuaries in a bid to improve efficiency and quality services.
Government set up a task force to look into the feasibility plan on how it will work considering that most mortuaries are out-dated and do not tick to the current health standards of handling corpses.
Currently, people K2,500 for embalming, K1,000 for washing and dressing and K1,000 per night for storage of dead bodies at some private mortuaries.