No Crisis at Health Ministry – PS

| May 21, 2015

The acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, Ms Tebogo Banamile, says there is no cause for concern at the ministry as all envisaged results of their mandate are being realised.

Responding to a question posed by a member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Mr Samson Guma at the start of the committee’s session on May 18, she stated that the health care system was not in a crisis.

Mr Guma, who is also the MP for Tati East, had stated that shortage of doctors’ accommodation, transport, vital and essential drugs as well as trained personnel were clear indicators that the health care system was in a crisis.

Ms Banamile said the fact that there were about 54 medical doctors in Francistown who had no housing accommodation was a challenge and not a crisis.

She said in an effort to address the housing issue, the ministry was negotiating with Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) and other property developers to rent out houses to staff or sell them to government.

Regarding drugs, she said, the ministry had taken a deliberate decision to allocate funds to District Health Management Teams (DHMT) for direct procurement of drugs from Central medical Stores (CMS).

On the issue of shortage of transport, the acting permanent secretary said the ministry was compiling its transport fleet inventory to determine how best it could address the situation.

She noted that the problem was exacerbated by the acute shortage of ambulances especially at district level. Ms Banamile stated that they intended to decentralise transport because at times ambulances had to be called to attend emergencies from various area and this had irked communities.

She also informed PAC that the ministry intended to take paradigm shift in training of its staff members to improve the situation.

She was, however, optimistic that should the health ministry be delinked from the civil service, it would be able to retain trained personnel as it would be in a position to offer competitive remuneration packages.

Responding to another question from Mr Kostantinos Markus, Ms Banamile said the vandalised Maun General Hospital would be renovated. She said she was not aware that Cuban doctors who have been contracted by government were being given poor allowances.

However, she explained that such doctors were being offered allowances and not salaries based on area of specialty.

However, MP Markus said this was a disincentive to the concerned doctors, noting that the government should recruit more competent and highly skilled doctors whom would be paid at market rates as the present scenario was not a good move.

Ms Banamile said the Ministry of Health was still committed towards offering the best service to the nation, noting that it was excelling in terms of ARV rollout though there was still room for improvement especially in remote areas.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Medical/Health Care

Comments are closed.