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Alba Iulia
Sunday, September 25, 2022

Medical doctors angered by Sylvia Masebo’s accusations

Health Medical doctors angered by Sylvia Masebo's accusations

The Zambia Medical Association is dismayed with the choice made by Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo to address the medical profession in extremely unflattering terms, in full view of its members and through a live broadcast carried by the press and social media during its Annual General Meeting recently.

The Association says it has taken particular exception to unsubstantiated allegations, made by Ms. Masebo during the Minister’s remarks at the recently held 58th ZMA Scientific Conference and Annual General Meeting in Livingstone.

It has cited insinuations that the chronic and critical shortages of drugs and medical supplies in public institutions is a result of pilfering by healthcare workers. The Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo accused doctors in senior management positions within the Ministry structures and allied statutory bodies of running down the health system. She also accused medical doctors of stealing government time by undertaking Private Practice during work hours.

ZMA Secretary General Dr. Roy Tolopu said ZMA’s first and overriding concern is the potential long-standing damage caused by erroneous statements made by high-level officials whose official capacity commands the public trust.

He said that to be accused of stealing from a system that doctors are breaking their backs to support is nothing short of a slap in the face saying doctors have done a great deal to improve functions and decrease mortality and morbidity in centers throughout the country, often finding creative ways to do so when Government Grants have been delayed or diminished.

27 COMMENTS

  1. Let her ad the boss buy drugs than pointing fingers on innocent people tht they are steal whn since they were elected into power nothing hs bn bought for the hospital or clinics bt still accusing the PF govt. Done the job, not always dwelling on the past issues.

  2. I must say we have some very good health workers in the country. I know so many doctors who invest 1000% into their work. WITHOUT DOUBT the best medical personnel in Zambia are at UTH. But at the same time a lot of what is being said by the minister is true. And instead of rushing to defend themselves the doctors health workers need to do a thorough self examination.
    Anyone who has an idea of how things are being run – especially under pf – know that there has been a lot of unfortunate things that happen in hospitals.
    The faulty ventilators and expired drugs would not have passed unnoticed if we had proper controls in the way the health sector is run. How could we have discovered afterwards that these where substandard? And guess who is in charge of the health sector. Yep, it’s…

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    • I recently took a child who was critically burnt to UTH. The indifference was shocking.
      A friend of mine died after being taken to UTH, because no one really paid attention to him. He was just an additional burden to the nurses.
      Let’s be honest the health sector in Zambia is a complete disaster. And both the medical practitioners and the governments are the ones to blame!

  3. Go Masebo…Go ……shake-it up !
    ZMA marked by complacency…..
    The “potential long-standing damage” is NOT an argument at all.

    1) Can ZMA refute the fact that SOME ” …..medical doctors are stealing government time by undertaking Private Practice during work hours “, can they provide assurance this is NOT happening?
    2) Can ZMA assure ZAMBIANS that there is NO pilfering by healthcare workers ?
    If ZMA cant substantiate the above, then why are they arguing and what is the discussion about here? Why are they nagging?

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  4. Yes I’ve seen hard working doctors running 36hrs shifts and giving their all towards their profession. But then I’ve also seen one or two bad eggs who are running private clinics and referring patients to their clinics citing no medicine in hospitals etc.

  5. There will always be dome degree of theft………

    In any industry, especially after 10 years of PF…………that is to be expected , but must be stamped out…..

    GRZ bought medical supplies are finding themselves in private pharmacies and medical practices………..

    This is an organised racket…….

    Use OP and the countries security intelligence services to bust these racketeering rings……….

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  6. How come we never faced such shortages before under the same doctors…of course we used to face shortages but not of this magnitudes

  7. If you have evidence that people have stolen, please take them to court. This is called the due process of the law – an accused person has the right to be heard in a court of law. What we have now are unsubstantiated insinuations from a politician that doctors are stealing medicines. It takes seven years to train a doctor – Ms Masebo, please tread carefully.

  8. I think the Minister needs to balance between condemnation and motivation. She should promise that she will fight for good conditions for the health workers but they also need to up their game….it would not make sense to improve conditions of service when the workers are not putting in their best

  9. She sounded like the PS from Youth and Sport, Kangwa Chileshe, addressing sportsmen and women in Birmingham. Next, she will tell them they should consider themselves lucky that they are employed by GRZ because there are so many other trained Zambian doctors who can serve in their place. This seems to be the new UPND script to the Zambian citizens who have put them in government. It all started with one Bally telling his ministers that there are so many other Zambians who can serve in their place and should not consider themselves indispensable.

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  10. DOCTORS MUST CHECK THEMSELVES…..MOST OF THESE GUYS ARE BUSY AT THEIR TUTEMBA(SHOPS) OR THEIR FARMS GROWING TOMATOES AND REARING PIGS. YOU WILL FIND THEM IN PRIVATE HOSPITALS AND CLINICS. SERVICES LIKE LABORATORY ARE ARE ALL OUT SOURCED TO THEMSELVES AND THEIR CRONIES. WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THE CANCER HOSPITAL? WHO IS IN CHARGE OF RADIOGRAPHY? WHO IS IN CHARGE OF BLOOD BANK? FIRE THEM THEY HAVE OVERSTAYED MILKING GOVT.

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  11. We have so many kaisa ka zulu PF oriented doctors.Pilfering of drugs is the order of the day.The system must be shaken to make life difficult for culprits.Ubomba mwibala alyamwibala PF kachasu slogan should be destroyed.The minister must kick there a**es.

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  12. The minister may not be popular but having worked at UTH I know what she is saying is true. We would receive enoiugh medicines for the month today and when you go to the pharmacy a few days later it’s all gone and patients are being told to go buy from private pharmacies.
    Some bloggers here have regularly pointed out that the entire Civil service is corrupt and inefficient but people don’t want to listen. Nearly everyone working for government is looking out for an opportunity to make money from his workplace. Those of us who turned up just to work were considered sleepy.
    All the clever ones were looking out for something to steal from stationery, drugs, equipment to allowances in government, the logic being its our tax and we are underpaid. HH needs to clean up the civil service…

  13. HH needs to clean up the civil service. Then pilfering of medicine, smuggling of stuff by ZRA etc will stop.
    The sad thing is that thieving is entrenched as a national value. Thats why politicians who retire without great wealth are considered batulo in Zambia

  14. There is some truth in what Sylvia has said. The truth is that doctors in Zambia today are in it for the money and the good life. Go back to the days when UNIP ruled. Private hospitals were non-existent. Zambia was not as waelthy as it is today. There were not as many government hospitals as there are today in Lusaka. BUT, every patient who went to UTH was able to see a consultant and in-patients were seen by cosultants every day and even twice or more a day. Today, you are lucky if you can be seen by a consultant. Many of them are absent from the post and busy making money in private practice. I experienced this.

  15. I believe the main area of concern is not really our Doctors but the nurses, there are some that are terrible when it comes to caring for patients and are one of the main causes of unexpected deaths in hospitals. There is need to screen nurses properly, I have lost people who died due to negligence or worse still intentional acts to get back at concerned relatives who voiced concerns at the poor treatment of the admitted loved ones. This terrible attitude must change. Let us not employ nurses who are only interested in taking selfies and the salary at the end of the month. However, doctors being the senior officers on duty need to instill this duty of care and service onto their subordinates, the nurses.

    • When you experience so many deaths you become numb to grief by relations or concerned vsitors. You want to treat all of them as one. Nurses and doctors go through this cycle. The bigger the number of patients the more indifferent the health staff. Thats why its important to have as many hospitals as possible

  16. kkkkkkk why is leadership there, to complain or to bring solutions? She is there to bring solutions if that is her observation let her put a system to stop that occurance than just putting blame on others kkkkkkk yaba what is happeing we want minister who can deliver and not those who are always on media we are fade up of media ministers,social media minsters.PF is no longer there and time stop talking about it is now and just deliver kwasila

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