The Health Professions Council of Zambia (HPCZ) has urged the public to report health practitioners that are not complying with ethical standards to help improve service provision in the country.
Reacting to the suspended Kalomo male nurse who denied services to a woman’s child at a health facility in Southern Province in footage that went viral on social media last week, HPCZ senior public relations officer Chinyota Msimuko said stakeholders need to report non-compliant health practitioners to prevent discrepancies between recorded cases and actual cases on the ground.
“We encourage the public, please do approach us, do access us and we need the public; whether it’s in the form of good or bad feedback, we need the public to drive these conversations forward; to take these cases up and to make sure that these are locked in our system, thereafter, we’ll be able just like we do on inspections to conduct proper assessments, and to also sort of combine proper categories as to what the trends are,” Msimuko said in an interview in Lusaka.
“So, we equally need to know where we are winning as we equally need to know where we are losing, and when I say we, once again, it’s all stakeholders from practitioners who are responsible for actually dispensing this healthcare to the recipients, to the regulation authorities, just like ourselves.”
When asked what the current trend was in relation to incidents of this nature, Msimuko explained that information was being gathered to release the report based on data collected in 2018.
“Findings are still being compiled. So, what those statistics look like at this point, I can’t specifically tell you, but do we see cases of negligence? Do we see cases of non-compliance, well, of course, we do I think that’s the reason for the existence of the Council,” he responded.
“With regards to compliance, our efforts to actually make sure that compliance is actually achieved, I can say from the HPCZ standpoint has actually accelerated. So, what we found on the ground is that there was a certain degree of non-compliance.”
He added that the HPCZ was setting a trend that would see total compliance from medical institutions and penalties would be given for non-compliance.
“I can tell you what will be the trend from the HPCZ standpoint, and that is definitely we are going to really move on ensuring compliance, even more in the form of physical inspections in the form of penalties as well where there is non-compliance, but even for us to be able to do this it requires the input of the public stakeholders,” explained Msimuko, adding that Zambia’s fast-growing population would bring more challenges burdening the health sector.