By: Vincent Gunde
The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation( CHRR), has expressed a concern over poor people paying for essential drugs in Christian Hospitals saying this is not in line with the Universal Health Coverage.
The concern was expressed amid reports that Madisi mission hospital is offering free medical services and essential drugs to only its surrounding villages in the area of Traditional Authority Chakhaza in the Dowa district because they are part and parcel of the hospital’s development.
The CHRR said it is the wish of government to provide Universal Health Coverage for All and for free but with the increase in population the country is experiencing, the essential drugs are not for free.
Speaking during a CHRRs governance project review meeting for T/A’s Chakhaza and Kayembe, held at Mponela in the district, CHRRs governance project officer, Modester Ramundi, said what Madisi mission hospital is doing is not for free.
“Communities are paying for the packages which government is providing the hospital through taxes ” said Ramundi.
Ramundi expressed hope that if all chiefs,Health Advisory Committees and the communities at large join hands in reporting issues to come to the open, Dowa district will not be the same which will see its citizens benefiting from the Universal Health Coverage for All.
The Madisi mission hospital issue was reported at the meeting by the Community Based Organisations( CBO) of the two T/A’s Chakhaza and Kayembe claiming that communities surrounding the hospital have been sensitised to access the essential services and drugs for free on the basis that they take part in doing development projects for the hospital.
In his remarks, Dowa District Civil Society Organisations network chair, Maxwell Kadutsa, advised the CBOs to report such issues to their elected MPs to take it to Parliament other than fearing them saying MPs are their servants and not their masters.
Kadutsa appealed to the communities not to keep silence when they see something of public interest happening in their areas.
” if the issues have facts, report them to the media for the authorities to come in as quickly as possible “. said Kadutsa.