Thirty-Six health workers will be required to work in a unit of a mobile hospital President Rupiah Banda’s government launched in Mazabuka last month.
Sources within the ministry of health revealed to the Watchdog that each mobile hospital unit will need and carry not less than 36 workers per visit of two weeks in a particular area.
The source revealed that at the moment there are a lot of confusions on the criteria of selecting doctors, nurses and other supporting staff to be attached to the operations of the mobile hospital.
The source said the venture President Banda’s government has invested into is very expensive because of huge sums of monies to be paid as allowances to those working in the mobile hospitals.
The source revealed that it is estimated that over 450 million Kwacha will be spent in a period of two weeks in allowances to each mobile hospital staff.
“These things are very expensive and not less than 450 million Kwacha will be spent on allowances only for doctors, nurses, drivers, pharmacist, clinicians, laboratory staff, surgeons, and other support staff.
It was better to just build permanent structures that this, yes they have other facilities hospitals might not have but those are the things government is supposed to improve on in the health sector than brining an expensive venture which is also a loan facility,” said source said.
The source revealed that there are other uncontrolled expenses such as fuel, oil, tyres and a routine maintenance of the vehicle which are unavoidable and costly to bare.
“The unit we are talking about consist of seven trucks or in other words seven vehicles stationed in one place for two week and having over 36 workers getting over 450 million kwacha in allowances, the
same health workers are also entitled to a monthly salary, that is a problem there because as the things stands now clinics, hospitals and other health centre are understaffed and have no enough drugs and
machinery,” said the source.
The Zambian government has procured mobile hospitals at a total cost of US$53 million loan which will be repaid in a period of 40 years.
President Banda has since launched and handled over the mobile hospitals to Lusaka, Central, North Western and Southern provincesrespectively.