Yesterday evening I visited UTH in Lusaka. It was a chance to talk with the hardworking nurses and doctors, see some of the challenges they face and meet with patients.
I have pledged to you, the Zambian people, that if you vote me into State House on 20th January 2015 I will work to improve our healthcare system.
As the campaign progresses I feel it is important for me to explain in more detail our policies and how we propose to make them a reality.
When it comes to healthcare there is much to do. Some progress has been made in building more clinics and facilities recently. These developments are very welcome.
However, we need to make sure these are staffed properly, have the right medicines available, and that they are affordable, otherwise they won’t do any good.
We must ensure that frontline staff numbers are increased and then stocks held by clinics and facilities are sufficient. When people have already travelled very far to seek medical help then we must at least make sure they can access the medicines they need there and then.
Improving our healthcare system will require funding so we need to make sure we get our economy back on track through more sensible management of debt and investment. There are also improvements we can make just through better planning and management of the sector.
Finally, a relationship based on mutual respect between Government and our medical staff is a must.