This afternoon I wrapped up today’s meetings on public sector reforms with two more parastatals in the health sector namely; the Nurses and Midwives Council of Malawi (NMCM) and the Medical Council of Malawi (MCM).
Accompanied by the Minister of Health Hon. Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda and Deputy Minister Hon. Chrissie Kalamula Kanyasho, NMCM and MCM shared progress being registered on the reforms, red flags being raised as well as new areas that require reforming to enable the organisations positively respond to modernity.
NMCM – whose mandate is to regulate the Nursing and Midwifery education, training, practice and the conduct of Nurses and Midwives – presented three areas of reform that are under implementation.
Basing on the discussion we have had with them, we have categorized and identified more reform areas that will seek to enhance financial independence, ethical behaviour as well as people management encompassing issues of career progression, training, motivation and remuneration.
Besides the reforms, I have also challenged NMCM to elevate its status, set standards and redeem the glory of the nursing profession. If as a government, we must come in to do our part then we stand ready. I couldn’t agree more with Hon. Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda that the first step to this task would be motivating the Nurses and the Midwives themselves.
We have therefore challenged the council to think through what needs to be done, even if it means going back to the basics but we must nurture a cadre of nurses that are professional, highly trained with high levels of integrity but above all, highly motivated to help turn around the situation.
MEDICAL COUNCIL OF MALAWI (MCM)
MCM – which is mandated to protect patients and the general public and guide the medical, dental and allied health professionals – is implementing three reforms in the areas of legal, financial independence and corporate governance aimed at making the organisation efficient and effective within its area of mandate.
However, one reform area that has stagnated but which could unlock implementation of other reforms is the review of the Medical Act.
I was shocked to learn that the first draft was worked on in 2013 but up to now there has not been progress except for plans to have the legislation go to parliament in 2023.
As a country, I don’t think we have such luxury of time. We have therefore advised to have the bill reworked – in the event that some things have changed since 2013 – but we will have everything done by early next year 2021 and not 2023 so that we get going.
Moving foward, we have been impressed by progress on the other reforms that seek to make the council financially independent.
It is the wish of the administration of His Excellency Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, President of the Republic, that we weane more and more parastatals from government subvention so that we channel the resources to other pertinent sectors of the economy.
Have a good evening.