IT is very disappointing that the officials at the Ministry of Health lied to the Head of State over shortages of drugs in health facilities instead of lobbying for his intervention, Resident Doctors Association (RDAZ) president, Dr Brian Sampa has said.
And Democratic Party (DP) leader, Harry Kalaba said President Hakainde Hichilema should visit clinics and other health centres without announcing to avoid being lied to.
On Thursday, President Hichilema told journalists that the situation of drug shortages was not as portrayed in the media because the supply of drugs was running smoothly.
The Head of State said this after an impromptu visit to the Ministry of Health headquarters to appreciate the situation regarding the supply of drugs in hospitals and recruitment or 11, 200 health personnel.
But in an interview, Dr Sampa told the Daily Nation that the President was lied to by officials at the Ministry of Health for selfish motives.
He said it was unfortunate the officials at the ministry missed an opportunity to lobby the President Hichilema to normalize the situation.
“It is very disappointing that the officials at the Ministry of Health have the guts to even lie to the Head of State, and this shows why it is difficult to attain certain goals. It is not a hidden fact that there are no drugs in these hospitals. It is all over, it’s not about social media but even those who are misleading the President knows that when they go to the hospitals, they will be told to procure everything including the syringes.
“For us, our worry is that when the President went there, we expected that they were going to lobby for the President to intervene so that this problem is sorted out, but instead of doing that they lied to him which is very unfortunate. The President went there on a fact find mission and it was a job of those officials to give the true picture to the Head of State,” Dr Sampa said.
Dr Sampa advised President Hichilema to be wary of the people around him that would give him misleading information like it was with previous Heads of State in Zambia.
“And we really wish the President can do something because it is wrong to lie to the Head of State. It’s unfortunate that the President will look like a liar when it his officials lying. The problem in Zambia is that we want to lie to the President about good things to make it appears everything is okay,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Kalaba also insisted that there were shortages of drugs in health facilities in Zambia because he personally took a fact finding visit to a number of them.
He advised the President to visit clinics and other health centres and not the Ministry to avoid being lied to.
“I went to Kanyama and Chilenje Level One Hospital and there were no drugs in the hospitals. That is why I told him (President Hichilema) that don’t just go to the Ministry of Health. Why did he even go there? For what, because he could have just spoken to Masebo on phone as his minister to know what was happening? Not what he was doing on TV.