Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Malawi Heavily Congested
By Amalawi - Wed Jan 30, 9:46 am
By our reporter
Blantyre, Malawi: Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Malawi’s commercial city, Blantyre, is heavily congested. Patients are currently sleeping on the floor due to lack of beds.
Management officials at the referral hospital have attributed the congestion to the renovation work currently taking place, this has led to the closure of Ward 4B. Officials also say the absence of a district hospital in the city puts pressure on the referral hospital.
The Ministry of Health spokesperson Henry Chimbali said the ministry is aware of the congestion at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) and other hospitals in the country.
He said the ministry is strengthening urban health centres to treat most illnesses without referring patients to QECH.
Chimbali said the ministry is finalising land negotiations and title deed for the construction of a district hospital in Blantyre.
“We need to educate the public that central hospitals are referral centres and as such, the first point of contact with a doctor or clinician has to be at a health centre. There are some people who just rush to central hospitals for conditions that can be treated at a health centre.
“As for a district hospital in Blantyre, we are almost close to getting a title deed for the land after negotiations with relevant authorities. Soon, we may start resource mobilisation to start construction,” said Chimbali.
A hospital official in Blantyre concurred with the ministry “We receive cases which have not been referred by a clinician. The hospital should implement process whereby only patients who have been referred should be treated here. This would be a controversial decision however the management have to do something. This cannot no go on”.
“The Ministry of Health is aware of the [congestion] problems. Interventions such as patients paying pass fees when referred to central hospitals have not worked well in the past. They have to intervene and help us here”