Vice-President Saulos Chilima has hailed the Office of the Ombudsman for deploying 463 hospital ombudsman personnel in public hospitals nationwide to monitor service delivery.
He said this yesterday after meeting Ombudsman Grace Malera and officials from her office yesterday in Lilongwe to review progress of the reform initiatives the institution is implementing to make it more effective and responsive to the public.
Writing on his official social media platforms yesterday, Chilima said the initiative will help marginalised people access justice easily.
“The initiative will lead to the setting up of a door step platform for aiding the marginalised to access timely and quality services to address injustices,” he said.
The Veep commended the Office of the Ombudsman on progress made on various reforms, saying the hospital ombudsman personnel will play a critical role in ensuring justice in health facilities.
According to Chilima, the initiative is expected to be extended to other equally high service demand areas such as Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services and the Ministry of Education.
Efforts to speak to Malera, however, proved futile as she could not be reached.
But information published on the Office of the Ombudsman’s website states that a hospital ombudsman is an individual empowered to investigate, mediate and provide remedies to complaints lodged by service users, their representatives and other stakeholders in relation to a health service.
Reads part of the information: “The hospital ombudsman performs these duties and responsibilities between 10am to 12 noon and 2pm to 4pm, from Monday to Friday.
“Every health facility is expected to provide a hospital Ombudsman contact phone number for patients. The hospital Ombudsman is reachable at any time.”