The Medical Council of Malawi (MCM) and the Nurses and Midwives Council of Malawi (NMCM) are expected to visit Zomba Central Hospital Hospital (ZCH) to investigate the death of a patient when the intensive care unit (ICU) was closed last week.
Management at the referral hospital in the Eastern Region was forced to close the ICU after some nurses and midwives refused to work extra time because of outstanding locum allowances.
MCM registrar Abel Kawonga confirmed in an interview on Tuesday that inspectors from his office will be visiting the hospital to establish the truth about reported problems affecting the delivery of health services.
â€œIt is surprising because these people take an oath that nothing will come between their duties and patients, including the issue of pay. We will go down to the bottom of this issue,â€ said Kawonga.
NMCM registrar Martha Mondiwa said the team comprising officials from the two councils want to speak to the health workers and make an informed decision on the matter.
Ministry of Health spokesperson Henry Chimbali said as an employer, government has the responsibility to discipline health workers on any act that has been justified to be contrary to the regulations.
Chimbali said the ministry is working hand-in-hand with the two councils and that there is need to promote dialogue in order to hear both sides in any labour dispute.
â€œAs a ministry, we are committed to addressing most of these challenges. We received the report [from ZCH] and we are following some issues first before we finally ascertain all the contents of the report,â€ said Chimbali.
National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives president Jonathan Abraham-Gama said despite many challenges, nurses and midwives value the lives of patients and that they always strive to provide quality services. He said it was not true that the health workers at ZCH were on strike.