GOVERNMENT is committed to improving the delivery of quality healthcare by providing more health staff and bringing specialised services closer to the community
President Hichilema said the Government had demonstrated the commitment through the massive recruitment of health workers and provision of medical equipment
Mr Hichilema, said this in a speech read for him by Eastern Province Minister Peter Phiri during the celebration of the 75 years of St Francis Mission Hospital in Katete at the weekend
“The upgrading of this hospital to third level last year as the first mission hospital to attain that level in Zambian is another demonstration of the Government’s commitment to bringing specialised health services as closer to the family as possible,” he said
President Hichilema said Government was aware of the many challenges that St Francis Mission Hospital in Katete District was facing in the delivery of health services.
President Hichilema said some of the challenges include but not limited to shortage of staff especially specialist doctors, inadequate supply of drugs and medical supplies, old and obsolete equpment and infrastructure
He said Government would endeavour to provide the necessary human capital, equipment and financial resources so that the hospital could offer health services which were in conformity with the new attained level
President Hichilema said the Government has started implementing the devolution process and this would enhance efficiency and prudent utilisation of resources.
“It is envisioned that this process will enable the facilities within the district to benefit from the increased availabilty of resources to being sent closer to the people to respond to some of the challenges that the health sector is facing, “he said.
He commended the contributions of the church and various partners in the delivery of health services and would continue to enhance the partnership through constant dialogue and engagement
“This Government appreciates the commitment of the workforce at the hospital which has been a unique feature of the institution
“This is a reflection of the burning desire of the workers to follow in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ and to re-live the life of the patron of St Francis,” he said
President Hichilema said the institution had built a good reputation over the years which echoed beyond the boundaries of the nation.
President Hichilema paid special tribute to Dr Francis Trefusis who pioneered the construction of the hospital from 1948 to 1952
He said Dr James Cairns superintended over the hospital for 38 years and had continued to support the hospital
The platinum jubilee was attended by Chipata Catholic Diocese Bishop George Lungu and Anglican Eastern Diocese Bishop William Mchombo.