Ministry of Health officials are putting the public on guard as they have uncovered instances of corruption being carried out by some public health workers. Earlier this week a release was issued on the matter which we queried about via an interview with the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr Ramon Figueroa.
DR RAMON FIGUEROA
“My understanding is that in a particular area of the country an ambulance was charging for service to facilitate the transfer of patients and when it is a government ambulance there should be no charge so that is why the notice went out but it’s not only that. We have been getting anecdotal reports from a long time ago about charges being levied by physicians on a person to person basis at public facilities and that should not be the case. We can’t enforce and we can’t ensure that people have free access to healthcare which is the basic principle of the Ministry of Health. If we don’t have people assisting us in monitoring these instances so that we can then take appropriate action.”
The release read, in part, quote, “under no circumstance must any form of payment be made to any doctor, nurse or health care provider for services rendered within the public sector. If any payment is requested payment must be done with the cashier at the public health institution and a duly signed and stamped receipt must be given. If not, you have all right to request it.Patients should not be referred for procedures outside of the public sector. Our referral system only caters for in house referrals and only under explicit and known circumstances must this be otherwise.If you or anyone you know has been charged, has paid any health care provider or been purposefully referred outside of the public health sector, report it to the management team or to this desk so that due action can be taken.Your anonymity will be safeguarded.” End of quote.