Masebo must apoligise – Dr Banda

ACCUSATIONS by Sylvia Masebo that the perennial shortage of essential medicines and other medical supplies in hospitals is because health workers including medical doctors stealing drugs is an emotional, unprofessional, vindictive and dangerous accusation, Dr Canisius Banda has said.

Dr Banda says Ms Masebo was wrong to accuse health workers of being thieves and should therefore apoliogise because her attitude was utterly disdainful and disrespectful of doctors and other medical personnel.

“Medical doctors heal…they do NOT steal. Sylvia Masebo’s accusation is offensive and divisive. Sylvia Masebo is wrong. And she must apologise. Her attitude is utterly disdainful, rude and disrespectful,” Dr Banda says.

Dr Banda, a public health specialist stated that Ms Masebo, the Minister of Health should have learnt to build on what the governments that came before the UPND administration did because development was cumulative and an incremental process.

Dr Banda said the Patriotic Front (PF), when in power had attained significant milestones in Zambia’s health sector and that records and indicators were there for all, including Ms Masebo to see and refer to.

He said all the UPND government needed to do in resolving the crisis of the persistent shortage of medicines in hospitals was to built on the achievements of the PF instead of tearing them down under the false pretense of cleaning up the supply chain system.

“The current attitude of the UPND government on healthcare in Zambia, as exhibited by its leaders in health, is emotional, unprofessional, confrontational, vindictive and dangerous. Without evidence, merely ranting, calling medical doctors thieves is unwise and takes away the confidence which citizens have in this vital national human resource,” Dr Banda said.

He said calling medical doctors and other health workers thieves was not only demotivating but also angered the healthcare workers whose focus should not be to defend and cleanse their reputation but to provide quality healthcare and save lives.

“Ms. Masebo should carefully study and understand the diagnosis made by her supervisor the Republican President, Hakainde Hichilema when he informed the nation at the recently held Pharmaceuticals Symposium that the cause to the crisis in the health sector in Zambia today is corruption,” Dr Banda said.

He stated that President Hichiema was specific and clear and that the head of State was aware that the perennial shortages of medicines that had bedevilled Zambia’s health facilities and severely compromised quality of care were not caused by medical doctors.

Dr Banda, the Patriotic Front (PF) chairman for health said medical doctor were not criminals and wondered how many medical doctors Ms Masebo prosecuted and convicted for her to have branded the doctors thieves who were stealing medicines and stocking private pharmacies.

“Medical doctors cost Zambia a fortune to produce. These highly skilled professionals should be celebrated and respected by all citizens of Zambia and not repeatedly insulted by the very person who should be protecting them,” he said.

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