Eastern Province needs more than 700 medical staff.

The Ministry of Health in Eastern Province has a shortage of 780 medical staff.
And the second phase of construction works for Lundazi District Hospital has stalled.
Speaking on Budget Tracking Programme on Breeze FM this morning, Provincial Medical Officer, Abel Kabalo says that instead of having 3,558 workers, the region has 2,778 workers.
Dr. Kabalo however, says that the Ministry of Health is working towards cutting down on the shortage after government’s decision to lift the wage and employment freezes.
He says that PSMD, Public Service Management Division yesterday indicated that treasury authority is being given to Ministry of Health to recruit staff, who will also be deployed in the 57 prefabricated health posts being put up in Eastern Province.
And the contractor working on the second phase of Lundazi district hospital has disappointed the Ministry of Health because he is not meeting his obligations.
Dr. Kabalo says that despite the contractor being warned and being given extensions to complete the second phase of the project, he has not shown seriousness.
He however, says that he was very impressed with how construction works for Nyimba district Hospital are progressing.
The provincial medical officer also indicated that the construction of Chipata and Vubwi district hospitals were among major projects being undertaken under the 2014 and 2015 national budgets in Eastern Province.
Dr. Kabalo says the flow of funding from government for the 16.2 million Kwacha 2015 budget to Eastern Province has been consistent.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Health in Eastern Province is still huge in debt for various allowances to workers.
Responding to a query on what the provincial medical office is doing to address the matter, Dr. Kabalo indicated that he was currently collecting data to establish how much is owed.
He indicated that government was doing everything possible to ensure that medical workers are paid their allowances which include leave and travel benefits.
And the provincial medical officer says that the supply of drugs to medical facilities in Eastern Province stands at over 95 per cent.
He says it is very unlikely that a health centre should face shortage of drugs because Medical Stores Hub in Chipata is consistent with supplying medicines.

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