…….you mighty even call it ‘the Chagwa Care’ says the Minister of Health.
Zambia joined the rest of the world in celebrating the International Nurses’ Day with the government urging all health providers, including nurses and doctors specialised in health services, to support the National Health Insurance Scheme -NHIS- saying this was deliberately introduced to enable government to provide quality health services.
Minister of Health Hon. Dr. Chitalu Chilufya told nurses that gathered in Chipata during the commemoration of the International Day of Nurses yesterday that the government had in mind the universal health coverage of all people when it decided to introduce the NHIS in Zambia.
According to Dr. Chilufya, the advantage of having the NHIS is that it will help the government to fund not only the supply of medical facilities in all health institutions but will also help in the construction of the infrastructures and the training of personnel that will be providing medical services to the people.
“The way things are at the moment, the people are paying a lot money to access health service.”
He said it is not the desire of the Zambian government to see its people suffer health complications because they cannot access medical services due to lack of funds.
“With the NHIS in place, medical supplies and personnel will always be readily available to the advantage of the people and there will be no one who will be left behind.”
He added that the government intend to revolutionise the health care services to the extent that there will be no one who will be required to go abroad for specialised treatment because everything will be readily available in Zambia.
Since the law that provide for the NHIS require that everyone make contributions, even those who do not have funds will still acquire similar services like anybody else.
He explained that the NHIS is a milestone in the government’s quest to provide universal coverage for all its citizens. He said the need for innovation in the provision of universal health coverage forced the government to come up with the NHIS.
“Regrettably, some section of the Zambian society including unions have waged a spirited fight against the NHIS.”
As far as this government is concerned, Hon. Chilufya explained, no amount of criticism will derail our plans to provide good and quality health service to our people.
He indicated that the government will not sit down and watch its citizens suffer health consequences when the remedy is within the finger tips.
The minister also stressed government’s desire to see health providers receiving appropriate training which will enable them to meet the demands health services.
Furthermore, the government wants to see a drastic reduction in HIV infection, including maternal and child mortality.
“The government also want to see a complete eradication of malaria in Zambia.” He said in order to achieve this objective, there is need for health workers to corporate with the government all the time.
Meanwhile, General Nursing Council of Zambia (GNCZ) Rhodia Mwape told nurses to change their work culture.
Speaking earlier at the same event, Ms Mwape said people everywhere in the world are increasingly getting enlightened and are aware that issues of health are a human right.
She said any shift in the conduct of Nurses would not only tarnishes the image of the profession but also land concerned Nurse in trouble. “It is for this reason that I urge all the Nurses to behave responsibly and those who feel they are in a wrong field of work, they are at liberty to look elsewhere. It is not too late!” She said people are called to not only work responsibly but also exhibits acts of charity if they want to remain relevant in society today.
And Zambia Union of Nurses (ZUNO) President, Liseli Sitali warned the Nurses in the habit of mistreating patients that they will be doing so it own peril.
Speaking at the same function, Ms Sitali observed that there were Nurses who are in the habit of discriminating patients. She said nurses are strategically called to service and their main objective therefore is to address issues of inequalities and discrimination in hospitals.
She said all patients have the right to access quality health service and care irrespective of their status on society. The ZUNO leader urged the Nurses to treat all patients not only with kindness but also respect because despite being sick, they still have rights.