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The Mozambican Ministry of Health has promised severe punishment for those health workers who abuse property of the National Health Service for their private interests.
Speaking at a Maputo press conference on Wednesday, the National Director of Medical Care, Ussene Isse, said the Ministry intends to make it clear that it will not tolerate the abuses committed by some of its staff.
Isse, cited in Thursday’s issue of the independent newsheet “Mediafax”, was responding to images, widely distributed on Mozambican social media, showing an ambulance used to transport construction material. The ambulance had taken patients from Pemba, the capital of the northern province of Cabo Delgado, to Nampula Central Hospital, the main hospital for the entire north of the country.
But on the return journey, the ambulance driver loaded the vehicle up with iron bars for construction. Apparently, the iron bars are cheaper in Nampula than in Pemba, and so the driver purchased a large number of them and drove them back in the ambulance to Pemba. Unfortunately for him, citizens with cell phones photographed this abuse.
Even worse was the behaviour of staff at the Polana Canico Hospital, in Maputo, who used the scales intended to weigh and control the growth of infants to weigh potatoes instead. Once again, people with cell phones photographed these health workers abusing public equipment and published the pictures on social media.
The health workers concerned weighed the potatoes even though there was a queue of mothers waiting for their babies to be weighed. The Polana-Canico nurses were thus more interested in sharing out potatoes between them than in checking the weight of infants.
Isse said that these workers are now facing disciplinary proceedings. He promised to call another press conference to announce the measures that will be taken against them and against the Pemba ambulance driver. He said these workers had committed crimes of corruption and abuse of their position.Source: AIM
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