Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Don’t Send Away Patients who Fail to Pay Medical Fees


The ministrty of health has warned of stern action against health personnel who send away patients when they fail to pay medical fees.

Ministry of Health Spokesperson, Canisius Banda says the ministry is alarmed at the high number of patients running to media houses to seek financial assistance from well wishers for medical treatment.

Dr Banda has blamees management in public health institutions who he says are failing to apply government policies and resources on the treatment of patients who cannot afford to pay medical fees.

In an interview with ZANIS in Lusaka today, Dr Banda explained that government has put in place Cost Sharing Exemption Policies in public health institutions to assist members of the public who cannot afford to pay for treatment.

He said government abolished medical user fees in 54 rural districts, but as for urban districts such as Kabwe Kitwe and Lusaka where user fees are still in force, a Cost Sharing Exemption policy has been put in place to assist people who cannot afford to raise the medical fees.

Dr Banda said the ministry of health expects managements in all public health institutions to follow the laid down criteria in qualifying members of the public who can be placed on the exemption policy.


  1. Who says that all residents of Lusaka, Kabwe and other districts can afford medical bills? This government is simply not what Zambians wanted when they were replacing KK in 1991. The people’s welfare has been left to the elements and it is not surprising that if free elections were held today without the OP and Rupiah Banda to rig, the whole group of the mmd would be on the street begging, or in exile running away from jail terms.

  2. the ministry of health should not deal with erring medical personnel through the media. Hey Dr. Banda you have all those so called directors or better still the minister or the PS can go and physically check how the patients are treated by the so-called under paid nurses and clinical officers. Go to Kalingalinga clinic its hell there.

  3. Who is telling the truth here? Canasius says health center management is failing to implement government policies and use resources allocated for those that can not afford and the hospital people in turn says everyone should pay and that they furthermore have no medicine?

  4. Maybe if the government was good and accurate in collecting taxes from illegal business and come up with such things like toll gates for availability and maintenance of good roads, etc maybe Zambia would be a better country….Oh and introduce pocketless trousers and scats to government officials too

  5. Dr Banda,well articulated points but problems is when it comes to practical implementation of these policy decisions,its a mess!!
    On Health,GRZ has really failed.My wife was referred to UTH some 3 months ago,I almost cried at the terrible conditions she had to be subjected to.UTH is in a deplorable condition & it’s management should certainly move in & reverse the situation.I don’t know what criteria Dr.Banda will use in identifying people who can not genuinely afford to pay these user fees.I see a situation were everyone will claim unable to pay.They might as-well allow everyone.Health is a key sector of our society & GRZ & UTH management should pay extra attention to it.

  6. why ku dandaula? just join politics and make your own stinking party. then when you get sick you can be flown out, all expenses paid at milpark hospital and johannesburg.

    don’t go to morning side coz i’ve noticed everyone who goes there dies.

  7. Please make sure that this policy is implemented and the people that meet the requirements are helped.Talking about discipline,most of your tu ma nurses Canisius are very bad hearted,their attitude is very bad.Knowing you and having dealt with you before,you are a good Doc.

  8. I hope the government shall exercise the same gesture extended to King Cobra and send all these patients to South Africa for treatment? This is some crap that we need to change? Number 8…. work their shoes before you condemn our hard working under payed nurses? pay them well and they shall feel appreciated.

  9. Guys why not contruct copies of Milpark & morningside (operationwise) in LUSAKA so that we can all access it and these Levy referrals can be attended to there. I am sure at the clock of 10years the savings would have justfied the cost now. What do you think!!!! Anywone who supports me will get a cash prize of ZIM$1, 250, 000, 000. (17pin6)

  10. Its all about money! The high unemplyment levels does not enable majority Zambians pay medical fees. It is just common sense that medical services should be free to the majority because the service borders on life and death issues. Somehow, we expect more cash to flow in from copper sales, lets prioritise, re-invest the money and build better hospitals from the little remainder. Mistake, dont give free food to urban dwelers who have no good reason to be a nuisance in cities. Continue to subsidize agricultural activities, make rural life attractive, then we wil soon be all smiling or dozing due to frequent constupation! The Bembas will stop killing monkeys and tourism will pick up! Aluta cont

  11. Here in the USA even foreigners (woman in particular) who come to visit and are expecting, can give birth and will be attended to even though they are on a visitor visa and may not be able to pay 100% or even half the medical bill. Could there not be some way to alleviate situations where those who cannot afford to pay medical bills can be attended to — of course you ensure that those who can, don’t take advantage. Which means you learn from other nations what is done in such situations? Come on now, Zambia — scout and learn from others….

  12. Some of the nurses at UTH are frustrated, hence the treatment they give to patients is bad. You meet for the first time but they behave as if you had quarelled previously. They are very rough to patients. They are also patients and those who escort them who are very rude to nurses. We should look at the coin on both sides.

  13. “Exemption policy”. Bwana mini-star, you are also a joker. Since when did such policies start working in Z? In KK days there was a similar thing in Z. Do you know who got mealie meal-the ministers themselves and parastatal directors and middle managers. So, such things don’t work in Z. Coz, there is no effective law. It is still the ministers who will be exempted. At least indirectly.

    Look, start building state-of-the-art hospitals-hsptls in rural areas where the disadvantaged reside. The hsptls that should remain along the line of rail must mainly be fee-paying so that pipo think twice b4 relocating to the urban area. Put all free GRZ funded social services in rural areas…

  14. …These may include hsptls, schools, library services, social security support etc. On top of above the GRZ should also provide excellent infrastructure (good road network, efficient postal service, descent commuter transport (not mbabula of buses), leisure parks (not game parks), cultural activities, descent housing etc. U ll c an exodus from urban areas to rural centres. Do not make education (etc) free in every corner of Z. Sooner rather than later all rural areas will turn into urban areas, depopulating the current urban areas.

    Coming back to seemingly, arrogant nurses. They are not arrogant, but just frustrated good pipo. i ve got a cousin who did nursing. After completion she was…

  15. …deployed in very far from her town of graduation-and I mean very far. I do not know up to what # of months she wasn’t been paid. But, when last I asked if GRZ had started paying her it was after 6months. I thought she was a layer. I carried out a simple research. I was shocked to discover that ion fact others haven’t been paid for at least a year. Now, that was shocking. The only thing I could to help was to send her a few bucks whenever I could manage to sqeeze ma budget. Now, the question is under-payment. But, how do you expect a nurse who 1st undergoes such treatment and finally when they start to pay her its peanuts to be nice to patients. Or to work professionally, in better…

  16. …language? There are several things. She cant even afford a descent house (or accommodation). In fact she herself can’t afford medical fees fo her family.

    One would expect that since our grz has, absolutely, no social welfare responsibility on underpreviledged, most of the money goes to pay the nurses and doctors what they deserve. Alas, our doctors and nurses are equally povert stricken. SAD. One would be compelled to ask-if the country is doing fine economically, but, where do they put that money to usage?

    Zambia’s economic situation is not rocket science. Putting in place, leader (and not rulers) in place with a vision and economic interest for the country…

  17. …Zambia can turn around within a leader’s one term leadership (not rulership). But, the fact is our leaders always have very low ambitions. Such that even when pipo (and well informed pipo) complain they think they are asking for too much and therefore, disgrantled individuals. Country men and women, Zambia is beautifully endowed such that anything can happen in Zambia. Strictly speaking Zambia can be (and I am not joking) one of the super powers in this world. There is nothing which is not there in Zambia. 40% of fresh water in the southern region of africa is in Zammbia. I do not know if you understand 40%. But thi si heaven. A large % of Zambia is extremely fertile and therefore…

  18. …arable and can produce any crop in the world. If you are in doubt think of Isreal which is an absolute desert but produces and farm produce you can think of. Every corner of Zambia is a tourist spot but the govt simply ve no idea of how conduct tourism. Zambia can develop with (now) advanced China. But the GRZ needs a strategy. 1stly, the more straight forward one is to study and research into China’s industrial needs. Obviously, its got to do with minerals and timber which fortunately zambia has in abundance. Afetr this study which shouldn’t take another life time, zambia should start using her natural resources to produce finished goods that china and other countries badly need. This…

  19. …will trigger massive small to medium business formation in the supply chain, hence, creation of massive employment opportunities for the citizens and others around us.

    Zambia, right from the word ‘go’ (independence), continued to produced and sell copper in its raw state at a very good price. The world needed copper at this time coz of post (1st) and 2nd world wars and industrial revolution had already started around this time. Whether they liked it or not, they were always going to buy copper. I do not want to go into details about the post wars and industrial revolution phase…

  20. …But, let talk about this current times in relation to copper and other natural resource. In some previous blogs some bloggers expressed fear about some amount of freedom of speech putting off/away investors. To put my fellow zmbns in the lime light, in other countries the freedom of speech/expression is more extreme than what we are experiencing in Z. However, this is not the point am trying to make. I am trying to stress the current demand of copper. For some decades to come copper and minerals such as uranium, diamond, etc will be in very high demand. Lets stick to copper and uranium.

    China is in a hurry to become a super power. On the road to being a super power carries on board…

  21. …with such things as powerful infrastructure for the country for super structures, military mighty, etc. It is this military mighty which triggers a riple reaction to the high demand of minerals such as copper.

    China, right now is privately, building submarines, amongst other ventures. This is in order to protect china’s accummulated wealth and to simply occupy a recognizable niche as a super power. This needs a lot of copper input together with other minerals such as uranium, etc. On the other hand Russia is also trying to re-occupy its past glory as a super power and not letting china take its place. I do not need to mention how much copper is needed in the electricity and electronic…

  22. …gadget production-its massive. While these activities are happening in china, america (the current super power) is not sitting idle to let china become the super power. They are busy implementing all sorts of technological innovations to counter china. Although, maybe in vain. To make the situation worse on the side of america, they even started an illegal war against iraq and afganstan and they are burrued into that war with no evacuation means because they ignored to plan for it (evacuation after killing sadham. In short they have spent a lot of (apart from money) copper in terms of ammunition and related technology. So, demand for copper is or will soon be on the upswing for them…

  23. …They do not produce enough to quench their appetite for the commodity. Practically, if they haven’t started they will soon start needing a lot of it from other source and zambia happens to be one of those sources. While enxiety is gripping china, US of A and Russia Europe and Britain are also affected by China’s rush to super power status quo. They are trying to see what China is doing and by what means to counter china’s moves. But, it all comes down to militarism. If they didn’t start they, soon they will all start revamping and updating their military capabilities. No western country would relish china becoming a super power. Afterall, with no human rights record how can they trust…

  24. …China? Absolutely! China does not care about which friend provide raw material for its industrial lubrication. All china wants is copper and at its cheapest price-no value added.

    To cut the whole story short, copper for some few decades to come will be in high demand. But, we know what copper is turned into wherever it ends up (electrical wiring, pipes, electronic circuit boards, electronic gadgets, heavy duty machinery to mention but a few). Now, with this knowledge why can’t our govt start initiating industries that add value to copper so that we quickly develop with those countries using our commodity/ies?…

  25. …The govt can start by involving (into research and implementation) our three universities and current industry-mining, railway, etc to coordinate efforts while the govt is also busy building other universities across the country and also implementing other big industrial undertakings.

  26. Adding value to our natural resources will enable the govt to pay public workers adequately and even fullfil other responsibilities. Lets not think and be comfortable about an indian or chinaman developing our country. They have a responsibility to maximise profit in order to develop their respective countries. Therefore, the govt should at most help indeginous citizens to set up business in order to generate employment opportunities for their fellow citizens. THANKS FOR YOUR TIME.

  27. Number 12 ..what part of the USA are you talking about? free medical services or paying half the bill… in your dreams? American economists will tell you that there’s nothing ever as a free lunch? our visitors simply avoid the bills as they have no way of tracking them down? trust me their medical bills are still pending?

  28. Peter our leaders are only interested in amassing wealth for themselves. china is not blame…our leaders are our worst foes…..greed.

  29. #29, I am not blaming china. In fact, the fact that china is in zambia doing business is a plus to zambia. But the idea of thinking china come to develop zambia and forsaking even the few zambians who want contribute is the main cancer we have in our midst. Thanks for having read my contribution and stay well.

  30. How we moved from paying for Panadol to China doing business in Zambia baffles me. How do you lose track of discussions, younger man?

  31. #31 walasa, I have observed a lot of this in this forum (blog). Panadol – china – religion – whatever else!

  32. These same hosiptals aint safe no more,yesterday at kitwe central hosipital a nurse killed an innocent baby by intoxicating the child when she put a blood drip which was flowing so fast,the baby ended up isuing blood from the nostrils and mouth,and later died.
    These people are not helping us but killing us.Where is the morality of this proffession,do these nurses and doctors have any proffesional code of conduct,and what does the law say on such.If we Engineers can start making such mistakes in our designs,who will survive on this earth?

  33. #35 The Whip Chachine! Ala ba nurse balitumpa ichine chine even their very own doctors complain. Thats y no tuma clinic utwa dula natudiba sana!

  34. i think its really absurd that patients should even b asked 2 pay in the first place . pipo a only getting prescriptions only as no essential drugs in clinics . and those same cashiers a just out to enrich themselves coz its very easy to have a copy of reciept books with same serial numbers . pity 4 our fahthers in shangombo only cleaners or watchmen a available to clean wounds and dispense pandol if at all its there .abash cost sharing viva free medical health 4 all !

  35. Everyone not eed a better life and desrve a good medical treatment. But to honest, in Zambia we’re used to free medical treatment and we are forgetting that these medical facilities can function without funding. Here comes a Question, where do they get their funds to run the operations? As much as i love my Country, guys things need to change, lets bring in medical insurance, co payments, let the hospitals run indendently,why only rich politicians can can rushed to South Africa while a poor common person is dying either in their home or anywhere? Let the ZAMBIAN people be proud of Zambia and its leaders.

  36. with the standard of health delivery we have in zed we still have a long way to go so instead of sending patients abroad lets buy equipment and train our health personnel so that they offer the services we follow abroad

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