President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has warned health workers in public hospitals to stop demanding money from patients in exchange for treatment, saying once found they will face the law of the land.

Mutharika issued the warning on Wednesday when he officially put a foundation stone for a K9 billion national cancer centre at Malawi Health Sciences in Lilongwe.

“This charging of people for health services (in public hospitals) must stop. If I find you, you will not only be arrested, but you will be fired and you will never work in public hospitals again,” said Mutharika.

Turning to the project, Mutharika said Cancer Treatment Center will cut down the cost of sending patients abroad by at least 50%.

“I want us to stop exporting patients. Instead, we must begin exporting medical care services. Time has come for other nations to come to Malawi for medical care. Let us be the pride of Africa in medical care. ThisNational Cancer Treatment Center is our national pride.

“But also remember! Under our Foreign Direct Investment programme, we began constructing the DaeYang Teaching Hospital. This teaching hospital will also provide more specialized medical care in this part of Africa. And more hospitals are coming in. That is how we will export more medical care,” said Mutharika.

Mutharika disclosed that the country has over 14,000 cancer patients who are in need of treatment.

The president told the people gathered, including the ruling Democratic Progressive Party supporters that his government is set to make health care a great success in the country.

“The DPP Government will stop at nothing until we have transformed health care in this country. We are unstoppable! We have proudly finished Nkhatabay Hospital. Today, we are beginning the Cancer Centre. Let me say one thing clearly to the contractors:I am giving you one and half years to finish this Cancer Center. No buts, no ifs – deliver on time! And I will be coming to supervise the construction myself,” added Mutharika.

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