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NHIMA being looted by private pharmacies – Nawakwi


A LOT of money is being looted from the National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA) using private pharmacies at the expense of public pharmacies in the hospitals, Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) president Edith Nawakwi has said.

 Ms. Nawakwi said the way NHIMA was planned by the Patriotic Front (PF) under former President Edgar Lungu was that the Ministry of Health was buying drugs using money from NHIMA and stock public pharmacies in hospitals so that the people who were accredited could be accessing the drugs.

 She said but what was happening under the UPND was that they were encouraging people who own private pharmacies to get accreditation at NHIMA so that they could refer patients to those pharmacies while public pharmacies in hospitals had no drugs.

Ms Nawakwi said since government was not ready to stock up drugs in public hospitals, some unscrupulous and politically exposed persons in the UPND have taken advantage by setting up private pharmacies and were getting accredited to NHIMA and that Government was paying heavily for their services.

 “Yes, check in these hospitals and pharmacies that are NHIMA accredited. Their drugs are expensive compared to those that are not accredited. We cannot continue like this, they have destroyed what NHIMA was meant for,” Ms Nawakwi said.

 She said it was difficult to explain why under a regime that boasts of having apportioned the biggest percent of money to the Ministry of Health in their budget was still struggling with shortage of drugs in almost all the hospitals.  

 Ms. Nawakwi said civil servants and other companies who were in rural areas that were under NHIMA were paying for the services that were not accessible because rural areas did not have the private pharmacies.

She stated that private pharmacies were getting the biggest chunk of the money while public pharmacies in rural areas depended on public health facilities that did not have drugs.  


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