By judgement Katika
Directors of Health and Social Services from across the country meeting in Salima have decried the accumulation of utility bills in their offices saying this is the a serious challenge that needs immediate attention besides other issues affecting health service delivery.
According to chairperson of the Director of Health and Social Services grouping, DHSS for Mangochi district Council Dr. Henry Chibowa the most district health offices are struggling to settle their utility bills like water and electricity among other necessities.
“Looking at what these utility bodies charge us it is unrealistic and this leads to accumulation of bills so much so that we find it had to settle, and looking at the money we receive it is not even enough to cover these bills so we are trying to find workable solutions to this issue,” said Chibowa.
Chibowa says their interaction as DHSSs helps them to share best practices and how to resolve some of the issues choking effective quality health service delivery as a way of building a thriving health sector.
Meanwhile Deputy minister of Health Enock Phale has since challenged the Directors of Health and Social Services to embrace prepaid billing if they are to address the debt on utility bills.
“Government is aware of the huge accumulated utility bills not only in hospitals or health sector but in all the MDAs hence all Ministry Departments and Agencies have been advised to go prepaid way and this is what I was emphasising to the Directors of Health and Social Services at this meeting as a solution.” Phale said
The deputy minister who is also attending the two day meeting said as a ministry they are committed to supporting the District Health Offices in all aspects including infrastructure development and improve conditions of the health facilities in the country.
In attendance at the meeting are Deputy minister of Health, Chief of Health Services among other officials from the ministry of health and DHSSs from across the country, and officials from the Medical Council of Malawi.