Dr Peter Kumpalume Dr Minister of Health receives keys from  the Site Contractor Mohandas Pillai.Pix by Andrew Mkonda-Mana

Dr Peter Kumpalume Dr Minister of Health receives keys from the Site Contractor Mohandas Pillai.Pix by Andrew Mkonda-Mana

NKHATABAY (Wisdom Ngwira, Mana) – The Minister of Health has expressed pleasure that people of Nkhata Bay District will soon access health services from the newly constructed state- of- the- art hospital due to open soon which he described as one of the best health facilities in the country.

Dr. Peter Kumpalume toured the new Nkhata Bay District Hospital on Tuesday where the contractor, Plem Construction, was handing over the health facility to Government. The minister received the new hospital on behalf of the Malawi Government.

Speaking at the hand-over ceremony, the minister assured people in the district that come end of this month, government will open the facility without fail.

Responding to allegations from some quarters that contractual disputes between government and the constructor are the reasons behind the delay to open the hospital, the minister advised people not to create and believe stories that do not have basis.

“Let me put it straight here that it’s not what people are speculating, but it is a question of money, government did not have money [for the project] at some stages, so this slowed down our progress, ”said Dr Kumpalume.

However, Member of Parliament for Nkhata Bay Central, Ralph Mhone, was skeptical about the new hospital opening soon, saying the final touches have not yet been done.

“In parliament, government agreed to release funds for the completion of the whole project and it is surprising now to note that the hospital will be opened soon without the final touches being finished,” said Mhone without specifying areas of the hospital project needing more funds.

Construction of Nkhata Bay District Hospital started during the administration of late President Bingu wa Mutharika but the project stalled at some point due to the country’s economic problems.