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Friday, June 14, 2024

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    By Our Reporter

    Only three years since he came into office, President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has lived up to the promise of equitable access to quality healthcare by all civil servants. This was one of the major campaign promises he made to Malawians prior to the 2019 and 2020 elections.

    The initiative was launched on Tuesday at Capital Hill in Lilongwe where the President underscored the need for Malawi to have a productive civil service which he said is crucial in the development of the country.

    “We have to reconstruct the structure of the civil service itself, re-recruit top notch technocrats to strategic positions within it, revamp its operations by having a truly meritorious system, and reform its terms of reference and performance review system so that no non performing individuals can continue to hide in its rank”

    Chakwera: Fulfilled major promise

    The initial phase of the scheme was launched in 2021 but it only targeted the top tier of the service unlike now when every civil servant in the country is eligible to enrol. It will be managed by the Medical Aid Society of Malawi (Masm).

    Chakwera pointed out that besides the medical scheme, his administration has lined up more interventions to make the civil service modern and responsive to the development needs of Malawi.

    These include provision of local and international training to public servants in order to upgrade their skills under the Malawi Government Scholarship Fund, a ring-fenced budget for recruitment and training of officers in the health, education and security sectors; annual revision of salaries and benefits for public servants to cushion officers from the rising cost of living and introduction of new welfare incentives such as transport allowance and special allowance.

    In her remarks, Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Colleen Zamba, commended the President for fulfilling a longstanding pipeline dream.

    One of the beneficiaries, Ruth Nkhambule Eliya, applauded Chakwera for the scheme

    “It is exciting to report that barely three years of Your Excellency’s leadership, that long time dream of having all Civil Servants on medical insurance has been achieved. This does not only underscore your commitment to improving the welfare of Civil Servants but also your realization that the Civil Service is indeed the nerve-centre for the implementation of Government Development Agenda as espoused in the Malawi 2063.”

    Issuing her testimonial, one of the civil servants already enrolled in the program Ruth Nkhambule Eliya said her life has completely been transformed since she joined the scheme.

    “Since I joined the Medical Scheme I can honestly say that my life has never been the same in as far as accessing quality medical care is concerned. I am able to access quality medical services and care in various medical facilities both locally and internationally, which means that Civil Servants who join this Scheme are covered for both mild and complex health issues. The Medical Scheme has also minimized the psychological stress which I used to have when I fell ill,” said the Secondary School teacher at Kabwabwa Community Day Secondary School.

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