Minister Appreciates Health Issues

| November 26, 2014 | 0 Comments

Minister of Health, Ms Dorcas Makgato says there are a number of critical issues that keep her awake at night since her appointment at the ministry.

Addressing Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital (NRH) employees on November 21, Ms Makgato said during her familiarisation tour of facilities around the country, she realised that facilities had some problems but at different degrees.

She said the critical issues of her concern were staff welfare, drug availability, the state of facilities, the quality of patient care, staff attitude as opposed to motivation, the country’s level of preparedness for Ebola, linkages between facilities and headquarters and the state of medical equipment.

Ms Makgato noted that though she had been informed that the issue of drug availability had improved, she was worried that it was not yet 100 per cent. On the issue of Ebola preparedness, Ms Makgato said she believed the preparedness was only theoretical and doubted the practical part of it.

On a positive note, she said the MoH had potential of becoming an economic sector on its own and she would utilise the skills she acquired from the Ministry of Trade and Industry to turn the ministry around.

She noted that the MoH got a lion’s share in the national budget with the Central Medical Stores getting a bigger share of the ministry’s budget. Ms Makgato said this was an indication that a lot of funds were used in drugs and this alone could encourage drug suppliers to set up in the country.

She said setting up locally would not only address drug availability in the facilities but would also boost the economy. NRH superintendent, Dr Malaki Tshipayagae informed the minister that the hospital faced challenges such as shortage of accommodation, delay in procurement and maintenance of equipment, human resource issues and transport amongst others.

Dr Tshipayagae said human resource issues included mass transfer of staff and delay to replace them, citing that last year a total of 70 staff members were transferred out but only 35 transferred in.

He lamented that some the transferred employees were running programmes in the hospital but their transfer out led to the failure of such programmes. Dr Tshipayagae further noted that a total of 10 specialists and 10 medical officers resigned from the institution in a period of two years.

He also lamented the communication gap between the institution and the ministry. Dr Tshipayagae observed that with the appropriate staff and equipment NRH has potential of becoming the northern regional health hub.

The deputy principal of Institute of Health Sciences (HIS), Ms Mboni Mokgathi lamented the teaching shortage at the institution. She said the capacity of the institution was 392 but currently, it stood at 198 due to shortage of lecturers.

Ms Mokgathi lamented that the MoH had neglected all the IHS in the country and appealed to the minister to arrange a special meeting with all the institutions so that a way forward could be mapped.

In response, the minister assured the employees that she would discuss the issues with the ministry management in view of coming up with solutions.

She expressed hope that since the President in the State of the Nation Address indicated the improvement in the economy, she was hopeful that some issues such as that of transport would be addressed.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Medical/Health Care

Leave a Reply