Health ministry raises bar

| September 16, 2015

Minister of Health (MoH), Ms Dorcas Makgato, says her ministry has made notable progress in queue management at health facilities, reduction of response time to definitive care and staff utilisation.

Addressing a press conference in Gaborone this week, Ms Makgato said contact details for hospital heads, District Health Management Teams and 24 hour clinics had been publicised. However, she requested that the services be utilised appropriately together with the toll free numbers.

She said in order to decentralise the decision making process at district level, they introduced a vote for minor maintenance of facilities. The PPADB had increased the limit for micro procurement of drug supply at DHMT from P30 000 to P150 000, she added.

She cited as challenges lack of accountability and supervision, saying they needed continuous monitoring. Despite challenges, she said, the ministry continues to provide quality health service.

Minister Makgato noted that out of the 183 clusters, only 126 have doctors, while the rest are assisted through outreach services. In an effort to address such challenges, she said some initiatives had been put in place such as external recruitment and recruitment of retired nurses and doctors, part-time and temporary officers.

Other challenges, she said, included staff housing, adding that ways were being explored to address the issue, adding that so far, construction of 74 out of 200 staff houses was underway. She said they were working on logistics to engage Botswana Housing Corporation on the remaining 126 houses.

With regard to sustainable quality health care services, Ms Makgato said to solve decongestion of facilities, Debswana and MoH had agreed on patient referrals from Letlhakane and Rakops primary hospitals to Orapa Hospital on the basis of capacity limitation.

She said the two parties were working on the expansion of Letlhakane Primary Hospital. Piloting expansion of service hours from 8 to 24 hours for dispensary units at 24hr clinics and hospitals in Gaborone and Francistown was ongoing.

“As you may be aware, there was a public outcry on unavailability of Hydrochlorothiazide in our health facilities; this has now been resolved as we have now expanded our procurement scope. Indapamide has been identified as an alternative to hydrochlorothiazide,” she said.

On Preventative Health Care approach, Ms Makgato stated that with funding from Global Fund prevention in the areas of Tubercolosis, Malaria and HIV had been targeted.

Regarding water shortage issue, the minister said they have installed water storage tanks in some health facilities. She noted that due to water shortage, they have put off non-emergency operations and only perform emergency operations.

Ms Makgato stated that significant progress had been recorded in four key focus areas, such as organisational transformation, sustainable quality health care services, paradigm shift from curative to preventative and economic diversification drive.

With regard to organisational transformation, she said the ministry has proposed a new structure which has been approved by the upper panel in August 2015 and awaiting submission to Cabinet by the end of September 2015.

“The structure focuses on the functionality of the ministry’s mandate, with some changes made which include lean headquarters, district focusing on implementation, and integration of National Coordination Agency (NACA) into the new structure, while the ministry and NACA are on consultations to facilitate transition,” she said.

Category: News

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