Some nurses at St John's Hospital in Mzuzu have accused their matron of conduct that demoralises them.
Speaking in separate interviews, the nurses alleged that matron Anna Maria Ziba's conduct is likely to derail the confidence patients have in them, something they say might affect the hospital's returns.
"She has an office yet when she picks an issue with you she doesn't consider who is around. She will talk about very important professional issues right in front of pa-tients and you are left ashamed of going back to attend to the patient in front of whom she bashed you," said one of the nurses.
Another nurse said the matron always wants to make members of staff feel her presence, stressing that she ensures that once she calls anyone to her office they should come out in tears.
We usually have staff meetings during which pertinent issues are discussed. But once you introduce a topic that she doesn't like, she singles you out and the next thing is that you are summoned for a dressing down," said the nurse.
"It is completely demoralising because once she bashes you and you think it is all over, she calls her friends, invites you again and asks how you feel about the bashing she gave you right in front of them.
"The next thing is that the issue is all over the hospital premises. We always wonder if someone can work effectively in such an environment."
But Ziba dismissed the allegations in an interview, saying those who are complaining through the media are cowards because there are normal channels of presenting complaints.
"There are normal channels of presenting these complaints other than the newspaper and why are they not mentioning their names? Unless I know who has complained I will not grant you an interview," she said. The matron said this was the first time anyone has complained about her since she arrived at the hospital some twelve years ago.
"This is a hospital and we deal with serious cases where someone's life is at stake and if I see that someone is not helping a patient properly, I have to talk. I have to tell the nurses to do their job properly because our job is to save lives," she said.