A number of Mkushi residents yesterday protested against the health workers in the district., prompted by Health Deputy minister Patrick Chikusu ‘s an unexpected visit to the District Hospital in the area.
The irate residents demanded that Dr Chikusu addresses them so that they could inform him about the laissez –faire attitude currently prevailing at the district’s biggest hospital.
However, the residents were unable to meet with the deputy minister because at the time of the protest, he was in a special meeting with the hospital staff.
They were, however, addressed Mkushi District Commissioner, Christopher Chibuye, who assured them that he had taken note of their concerns and would relay the information to the deputy Minister so that he can take relevant action.
Among the issues raised by the residents were that the health workers were lazy, rude, and incompetent.
They said the health workers spend most of the time chatting with one another instead of attending to patients.
One of the residents, Chilando Mwanza, who tending her sick child at the hospital complained that some officers were busy browsing the internet instead of attending to the patients.
Mrs. Mwanza said people in Mkushi district have lost confidence in the government hospital and instead resort to private hospitals and clinics because Mkushi District Hospital has nothing to offer apart from drawing undeserved salaries.
She appealed to the Ministry of health to reshuffle the workers because some of them have overstayed their welcome in the district and that they are no longer a factor to the people of Mkushi, who need and are entitled to better health service delivery.
And Chipego Michelo said he is not happy with the workers’ carefree attitude which has immensely affected the delivery of health services in the district.
Mr. Michelo said the workers seem not to care about the welfare of the patients as they go about their personal programs instead of doing their job.
He said the hospital opens at 08:00hrs and most of the time, the staffers commence their work around 10:00hrs, amidst which they chat in between work, with their colleagues.
He said the residents have tried to complain to management over the poor work attitude but that nothing has been done to change the situation because the management itself is not so different from their subordinates.
Mr. Michelo said the only remedy for this is to reshuffle the workers or dismiss them so that new and interested workers can take up their positions.
And addressing the irate residents, Mkushi District Commissioner, Christopher Chibuye, said government will look into the issues raised by the residents.
Mr. Chibuye said the PF government does not encourage laissez-faire attitude in all government institutions.
He said President Michael Sata has already given a warning to civil servants to report for work on time and avoid unnecessary chatter during working hours.
He warned that civil servants who do not adhere to the President’s directive would be dismissed immediately.
He, therefore, appealed to the residents to be vigilant and play the watchdog role thereby informing government about the occurrences in government institutions as way as the attitude of the workers.
Mr. Chibuye said the citizens are very important to government and that all civil servants, and health workers in particular, should ensure that they do their job effectively, otherwise they will be fired.
He, finally, assured the residents that he will relay the information to the deputy minister so that appropriate measures are put in place to address their concerns.