Government will soon constitute a Presidential Medical Unit to look into the health of the Head of State.
Health Minister Joseph Kasonde announced in parliament today that such a body would be headed by a person who will be appointed by President Edgar Lungu including other support staff.
Dr. Kasonde said appointing a Physician to the President is the best way to institutionalize an autonomous office to look into the health of a sitting Republican President and future Heads of State.
Dr Kasonde said the physician shall be mandated to have access to all military and non-military health facilities and also background of a clinical practice.He said the appointed Physician would be accorded military status in the event that he/she is appointed from outside the defence.
Dr. Kasonde said the Physician shall not normally be in dialogue with members of the general public concerning the health of the Head of State.He explained that the Unit would have a channel of information through a relevant spokesperson.
Last week, Vice-President Inonge Wina disclosed that Government was considering to institutionalize a medical body to look into the health of President Edgar Lungu.
Ms Wina says a medical body will be the right one to authorize and advise government on any illness of the Head of State.
The Vice President said the practice has been that the Head of State chooses his own medical team to take care of his health hence institutionalizing the Presidential physician was timely.
Ms. Wina told the House that countries in the world have set such medical bodies that look into and protects the health of their presidents hence Zambia following suit to establish one.
She disclosed that to avoid speculations from members of the general public, the Minister of Health Dr. Joseph Kasonde would soon issue a ministerial statement when the medical body will be established.
Ms. Wina stated that Government wants to be transparent on the health of the Head of State but noted that some statements were of bad taste and injuring the integrity of the Head of State.
President Lungu has been updating the nation on his health because he wants to be transparent and recently underwent specialist treatment in a South African hospital to correct a narrowing of the food pipe which caused him to fall ill on March 8 during celebrations to mark the International Women’s Day at the Heroes Stadium.
Following the President’s illness, the Zambia Medical Association proposed that the office of a Physician General should be created to look into the health of a Head of State.