Friday, February 23

Government moves to ease staff shortage at QECH

Hon Halima Daud

Deputy Minister of Health Halima Daud has said government will fast track the recruitment of medical personnel to beef up support at one of the country’s referral hospital, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre.

Currently, the hospital has a vacancy rate of 51 percent with other cadres reaching up to 70 percent, a situation that compromise efficiency and effective service delivery to the patients.

Speaking after touring Mercy James Centre, Paediatric Special care, Adult medical male ward and post-natal ward at QECH on Friday, the minister expressed concern over the challenges stressing that government would work tirelessly to address them.

“Aside this, government will also support health facilities in Blantyre with proper infrastructure and other medical equipment to handle patients with some critical medical conditions with the aim of reducing referrals to the central hospital,” she said.

In his remarks, QECH Director Kelvin Mponda said initially, the hospital was designed to carter for 1,200 patients but now, the number has been doubled.

“Blantyre does not have a district hospital and this means that everyone who is unwell and wants to go to the government hospital, QECH is number one, leading to congestion at the referral hospital.

“Due to this congestion plus shortage of staff, most of the times, we have ended up creating more medical complications to patients’ condition because they could not be treated in time, a situation, which would have been avoided if we had enough staff plus adequate equipment as well as infrastructure,” he said.

He, however, said QECH in collaboration with Blantyre District Health office have been working very hard to strengthen the capacity of different health centres like Ndirande to be able to handle caesarean sections for pregnant women admitted to the facilities’ maternity wards.

He added that they have also made sure that such health centres have emergency units for patients.

Reported by Memory Chatonda

Picture credit: Hon Halima Daud MP – Dowa South East Constituency

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