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MCM to Seal Illegal Clinics

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People need to get help only from well recognized hospitals such as the Kamuzu Central Hospital- People need to get help only from well recognized hospitals such as the Kamuzu Central Hospital- file photo

The Medical Council of Malawi (MCM) has issued a warning that it will revoke licenses and shut down any health facility that operate illegally in Malawi.

This follows an influx of illegal clinics in Blantyre and other places in the country that operate in substandard facilities and use unqualified personnel.

Speaking in an interview with Malawi News Agency, the Acting Registrar for Medical Council of Malawi, Richard Ndobvi, said the council was aware of the development and has since taken strict measures to fight against the malpractice.

“We are aware of so many health facilities which are operating without licenses and a lot of them are using unqualified medical personnel (fake doctors) to execute their task.

“The culprits are those who do not apply to the council for a license while some have legal documents authorizing them to operate a clinic but they deliberately contravene the council’s conditions,” he said.

Ndobvi then disclosed that the council plans to embark on an impromptu inspection exercise to the suspected places including Blantyre in its quest to reduce the malpractice which he said pose health threats to the public.

“We do not tolerate such practices because it poses danger to public health. As such, the council is working tirelessly in preparation for the exercise which includes soliciting funds to implement the exercise.

“During the exercise, the assigned team shall, among other things, issue warnings, revoke operating licenses or completely shut down the facility,” Ndobvi warned those concerned.

He then advised the public to remain vigilant and report to relevant authorities if they suspect any health facility operating illegally.

“As a council, we urge the public to exercise their responsibility thoroughly. If they notice any clinic that is operating in substandard infrastructure or using an unqualified individual, they should report to us or the police for action.

“According to our rules and regulations, it is uncalled for, for unskilled personnel or any individual on internship to run a clinic, let alone administer medication to patients without thorough supervision,” he explained.

Commenting on the matter, the Executive Director for Malawi Health Equity Network, George Jobe, said any health-related issue needs to be handled with seriousness; therefore, he called upon the council to speed up the inspection exercise.

“This is a sad development and it shows that a lot need to be done to address the issue. The council should know that any delays to enforce its rules and regulations creates a lot of implications on public health,” he warned.

The last inspection exercise by MCM  was carried out in July last year (2017) and it saw over 10 health facilities in Blantyre, Ntcheu, Kasungu, Nkhotakota and Dedza being sealed for failing to comply with the council’s regulations.

(By Memory Kutengule/Mana)

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