The Zambia Medical Association is dismayed with the choice made by Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo to address the medical profession in extremely unflattering terms, in full view of its members and through a live broadcast carried by the press and social media during its Annual General Meeting recently.
The Association says it has taken particular exception to unsubstantiated allegations, made by Ms. Masebo during the Minister’s remarks at the recently held 58th ZMA Scientific Conference and Annual General Meeting in Livingstone.
It has cited insinuations that the chronic and critical shortages of drugs and medical supplies in public institutions is a result of pilfering by healthcare workers. The Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo accused doctors in senior management positions within the Ministry structures and allied statutory bodies of running down the health system. She also accused medical doctors of stealing government time by undertaking Private Practice during work hours.
ZMA Secretary General Dr. Roy Tolopu said ZMA’s first and overriding concern is the potential long-standing damage caused by erroneous statements made by high-level officials whose official capacity commands the public trust.
He said that to be accused of stealing from a system that doctors are breaking their backs to support is nothing short of a slap in the face saying doctors have done a great deal to improve functions and decrease mortality and morbidity in centers throughout the country, often finding creative ways to do so when Government Grants have been delayed or diminished.