The government has warned of taking stern action against health practitioners engaging in professional misconduct and bad attitude towards clients seeking health care services in both public and private health facilities.
Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services, Kennedy Malama, said government would not condone such vices in the health sector and appropriate action would be taken against those found wanting.
Dr Malama also cautioned members of the public not to take the law into their hands when aggrieved while seeking health services in public and private health facilities.
“You should follow the laid down procedures in lodging your complaints and I assure you that appropriate action will be taken. Abuse or violence against health practitioners shall not be tolerated and will be met with the strongest action,” he said.
He urged health practitioners to aim at providing reasonable, safe, non-discriminatory health care and to always observe patients’ rights as articulated in the HPCZ Patients’ Rights Charter.
Dr Malama said this in Livingstone on Monday at the launch of the Health Professions Council of Zambia (HPCZ), Southern Hub – Livingstone Regional Office.
He further said the opening of the HPCZ office would save health practitioners and managers of health facilities and institutions from making trips to Lusaka to seek various services at the HPCZ Headquarters.
“Our practitioners will now be able to spend more time serving our people; there will be a reduction in the cost of doing business and we will have motivated health practitioners and managers of health institutions and training institutions,” he said.
Dr Malama also urged HPCZ not to relent but to continue with the decentralization program until the whole country was served.
And speaking earlier, HPCZ Vice Chairperson, Elizabeth Chizema, said the office would serve health practitioners and institutions in Southern and Western Province and was expected to cater for over 2000 people.
Dr Chizema said the launch of the office was a physical manifestation of government’s decentralization policy.
Meanwhile, Livingstone Mayor, Eugine Mapuwo, urged health practitioners to carry out their duties according to their respective job descriptions as doing the opposite would put their jobs at risk.
Mr Mapuwo said it was important for the health practitioners to understand their profession and serve members of the public well, since the community now had a nearby platform to submit complaints when aggrieved, unlike in the past when they had to travel to Lusaka