The Ministry of Health has ordered all health facilities in the country to stop requiring police reports before assisting people injured in various circumstances, saying the practice is not in Malawi’s laws.
In an official statement signed by the principal secretary of the ministry, Dr Charles Mwansambo, the ministry calls for an end to the continued practice of health facilities across the country of refusing to help people who seek help after a assault, accident or general injury unless they first report to the police and submit a police report.
“The office draws your attention to the fact that the above practice is not required by law as the constitution of the Republic of Malawi grants every person the right to life and the right to human dignity,” states Dr. Mwansambo.
Mwansambo further asserts that the government of Malawi is obligated to promote the welfare of Malawians by implementing policies and legislation aimed at providing adequate health care.
“Any sick or injured person has the right to access health care regardless of the circumstances that led to the injury or illness. Therefore, discrimination of people in any form is prohibited.
“People have the right to report to the police, but they should not be denied the right to access health care if they do not report to the police first and submit a police report “, he adds.
The Malawi Police Service Deputy National Public Relations Officer Inspector Harry Namwaza said there is a need for the Ministry of Health to work hand in hand with the Malawi Police Service as some people are hurt by committing various crimes.
On his part, the executive director of the Malawi Health Equity Network, George Jobe, hailed the ministry for the directive.
“This is important and will help healthcare facilities begin to understand the importance of helping an individual before seeking police reports. The ministry should publicize this issue sufficiently and Malawians should be encouraged to report to the ministry if they are not receiving assistance because they do not produce a police report,” Jobe remarked.
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