In 2015/2016 fiscal year, the Malawi government announced a K77.4 billion allocation to the Health Ministry and an addition of K55.6 billion off the budget donor resources support.
But health activists had asked government to consider finding a new system to make off-budget funding allocation work to ensure that there is an improvement in the health system delivery.
Former Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) Executive Director Martha Kwataine observed there was no change in 2015/2016 health budget allocation as compared to last year’s fiscal year since it is still at 8.7 per cent.
The budget is too heavy for overheard costs going towards wages and salaries with almost nothing for service delivery...We will be paying public servants to sit in their offices with no service delivery. It’s a miserable time for Malawians.
Kwataine was quoted as saying in the local media.
Almost 8 months after passing the 2015/2016 national budget, Malawi’s health system has experienced worst crisis ever.
There have been reported acute shortages of drugs, essential equipment and the health care workers in Malawi’s public health facilities. The 2015/2016 fiscal year has also seen grounding of ambulances in almost all the District Health Offices. It was reported that the offices of the DHOs in almost all districts were asking patients to contribute towards the purchase of fuel.
Malawi government insists the crisis is as a result of withholding of a budgetary support by donors. But it is people in rural areas that are worst hit by the crisis faced by the health sector.
So, as the mid-term budget review meeting of the 46th session of parliament is underway in the Capital Lilongwe, we are calling on parliamentarians to consider revising upward the health sector budget.
We are also calling on politicians to ensure the health sector budget is widely consulted. The health activists are also calling on the district council governance structures ensure adherence to transparency and accountability by the health sector. It would also be important to see that the budget information is available and communicated to the public.
All what we want to see is that mothers and babies are not dying because of the avoidable diseases and other challenges.