CEASAR MBEWE writes RESIDENTS of Lusaka’s Makeni Villa area have complained that staff at the government clinic is charging them for ordinary drugs like painkillers.The residents told the Sun that they were shocked at how some named clinical officers and nurses at the government health facility were making patients pay for drugs which were meant to be given freely.One of the patients, Rodrick Musonda, 27, of Kanyama Masauko area said he was sent home without any medication simply because he did not have the money to pay for the drugs. “I told them I did not have any money to buy the medicine but they simply sent me away without any medication,” said Musonda. But Ministry of Health spokesperson Dr Abel Kabalo warned that the drugs in all government clinics were supposed to be given freely and that any clinic found selling them would be punished. Dr Kabalo said that government was working on new ways to ensure that people could easily access medicines by decentralizing the dispensing of medicines.
“The Ministry of Health is in the process of setting of medical store at provincial centres in order to decentralize the dispensing of drugs,” he said.