Botswana has insufficient psychiatrists

Botswana has a psychiatrist-patient ratio of 0.5 to 100 000, says Assistant Minister of Health, Dr Alfred Madigele. Dr Madigele said there were 10 psychiatrists in the country in four hospitals of Sekgoma, Jubilee, Mahalapye and S’brana hospitals.

He noted that the international ratio for psychiatrists according to the World Health Organisation was 1 to 100 000 patients.

He further said there were six clinical psychologists in all the hospitals in Botswana, and that the clinical psychologist-patient ratio was 0.3 to 100 000.

“The short-term plan is to increase the number of psychiatrists and clinical psychologists through recruitment. The long-term plan is to review the development strategy and to work together with the Ministry of Education, which is responsible for pre-service education to provide increased number of slots for training,” said Dr Madigela.

He also said they were in discussions with the University of Botswana (UB) Medical School to introduce post graduate psychiatry training.

Mmadinare MP, Mr Kefentse Mzwinila had asked the health minister to state the number of psychiatrists and clinical psychologists practicing in all hospitals, and their ratio to patients.