The Kasungu District Health Office has revealed that it currently owes service suppliers, including ESCOM and the Central Region Water Board, over 100 million kwacha in bill arrears. Dr. Emmanuel Golombe, the Director of Health and Social Services at the Kasungu District Council, made this disclosure during a meeting with the Parliamentary Committee on Health. Dr. Golombe appealed for financial assistance to settle the outstanding bills and also requested the committee’s support in advocating for the installation of prepaid meters to ensure effective service provision to the public.
The discussion took place following a visit by committee members to Gogode Health Centre in the district, aimed at gaining a firsthand understanding of the state of health service delivery. Eurita Valeta Ntiza, the Vice Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, expressed the committee’s commitment to engaging with ESCOM and the water boards to encourage the implementation of prepaid metering services in public institutions, such as hospitals, in order to address concerns of exorbitant bills.
Ntiza further explained that the committee’s fact-finding mission is in preparation for a meeting with the Ministry of Health to address various issues impacting the quality of health service delivery.
The revelation of the Kasungu District Health Office’s substantial bill arrears highlights the financial challenges faced by the health sector. The outstanding debts not only impact the office’s ability to provide uninterrupted services but also strain relationships with vital service suppliers. The committee’s efforts to advocate for prepaid metering services aim to foster transparency and accountability, ensuring that public institutions are billed accurately and eliminating accusations of unrealistic charges.
As the committee continues its investigations, it is expected that their findings and subsequent engagement with the Ministry of Health will yield positive outcomes, ultimately leading to improved healthcare services in Kasungu District and beyond.