7 December 2012

Zambia: Speaker Orders Clarity On Health Staff Moves

SPEAKER of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini has ordered Health Minister Joseph Kasonde to issue a ministerial statement to clarify the realignment and shifting of some employees from his ministry to that of Community Development, Mother and Child Health.

This was in a ruling on a point of order raised by United Party for National Development (UPND) Monze Central Member of Parliament (MP) Jack Mwiimbu in Parliament on Wednesday.

Mr Mwiimbu rose on a point order seeking clarification on a statement issued by Secretary to the Cabinet Rowland Msiska this week that some employees had been shifted.

He wondered why the Government went ahead with the decision when Parliament had not made recommendations and was still considering budgets for the ministries, including emoluments of employees.

In his ruling, Dr Matibini ordered Dr Kasonde to issue a comprehensive statement in the House to clarify the matter.

"I, therefore, order the Ministry of Health to issue a ministerial policy before the House," Dr Matibini said.

Dr Msiska disclosed the realignment of the two ministries in Lusaka this week during an extraordinary sectoral advisory group meeting for the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health and the Ministry of Health.

Under the realignment, health posts, health centres, district hospitals and district medical offices would fall under the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health which would be in charge of community mobilisation, health promotion, prevention and curative services.

The ministry of Health would be responsible for the overall health policy and provision of healthcare at secondary and tertiary levels including the setting of standards and performance audits.

Dr Msiska said the realignment of the two ministries would improve efficiency in the health sector by offering integrated services to the community and would reduce morbidity and mortality.

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