The Physical Assets Management (PAM) is a division under the Health Technical Support Services (HTSS) department in the Ministry of Health. The PAM Division continues to contribute significantly to the improvement of the health of Malawians through provision of access by all to quality health care delivery through good quality, safe, efficient health care technology which is affordable to vulnerable sections of the population.
It has four (4) regional offices across the country known as Referral Maintenance Units (RMU) headed by Chief Medical Engineers. The RMUs are situated within the Central hospital premises. It also has maintenance units responsible for the management of infrastructure and utilities in all the central hospitals known as Central Hospital maintenance Units (CHMU) and district health offices known as District Maintenance Units (DMU). The referral maintenance units are attached to the Zonal offices administratively but report to PAM headquarters on technical issues.
Its major mandate is to ensure that all physical assets i.e. infrastructure and equipment are both available and functional in all the government health institutions.
Other Functions Of The Division Are:
- To guide the procurement of medical and hospital equipment through the provision of up- to-date specifications, evaluation and inspection of the equipment to ensure that only appropriate equipment are procured for the hospitals.
- To oversee the installation and commissioning of new equipment.
- To supervise service contracts for the sophisticated medical equipment such as computed tomography (CT) scanners, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners, some laboratory equipment etc.
- To coordinate and regulate donation of medical and hospital equipment.
- To assess and recommend obsolete equipment for boarding off.
- To conduct user training to hospital workers on the correct and safe operation of various medical equipment.
- Develop a physical assets management human resource development plan with clear career progression structure for all medical/ hospital engineering personnel.
The division strives to keep an up to date inventory of the Ministry’s physical assets through the use of software known as PLAMAHS (Planning and Management of Assets in the Health Service). All data of physical assets is recorded in this database.
All physical assets management activities in the country are guided by the Physical Assets Management Policy which is reviewed every five years.
Other documents being used as reference are:
1. Central hospital standard equipment list.
2. District hospital, Community hospital and health centre standard equipment list.
3. The planned Preventive Maintenance protocols