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Health facilities status worry legislators

14 Mar 2023

Members of Parliament have expressed concern about the status of health facilities across the country.

MPs expressed their concerns when they commented on the proposed 2023/2024 budget estimates presented by Acting Minister of Health, Mr Sethomo Lelatisitswe in Parliament on Monday.

Some legislators indicated that facilities in their respective constituencies were dilapidated, while some were crowded and therefore not rendering services of the desired standard.

Therefore, they pleaded with the minister to not only speed up construction and maintenance of facilities but ensure that the said infrastructure would serve the people accordingly.

Mahalapye West Member of Parliament, Mr David Tshere supported the ministry’s proposed development budget of which 85 per cent would go towards hospitals as they were key in service delivery where most concerns emanated.

Mr Tshere emphasised procurement of ambulances, upgrading clinics and ensuring that health facilities in rural areas were well equipped with specialist doctors.

However, he said engagement of specialists from outside the country by government was a welcome development but the only challenge was the language barrier.

“These professionals are not conversant in English. Though not doubting their credentials, consultation is paramount for one to access the requisite health service, therefore such is likely to be compromised by losing pertinent details in trying to rely the message from a patient to someone who does not speak English,” Mr Tshere argued.

Shashe West MP, Mr Fidelis Molao was equally concerned by the status of health facilities.

However, he was thankful that all the 13 villages in his constituency had clinics.

Mr Molao proposed that the clinics at Mathangwane, Chadibe and Borolong be upgraded considering the rate at which the population of such settlements was growing.

He added that the constituency was part of greater Francistown therefore, the growth of most of the villages in the area was influenced by their proximity to the city.

As such, he advised that the structures of health facilities must cater for fast growing population of such localities.

He also acknowledged that services and personnel at health facilities at villages such as Marobela, Matsitama, Natale and Mabesekwa were of clinic standard whereas the structures were health post as such resulting in congestion.

He emphasised the need to upgrade such facilities.

He added that although efforts were made to improve supply of drugs to health facilities across the country, there was still shortage for pertinent drugs such as those for non-communicable diseases.

Mr Molao also urged the minister to consider upgrading Borolong and Mathangwane clinics to operate 24 hours.

For his part, Ghanzi West MP, Mr Motsamai Motsamai argued that health services were crucial and therefore must be accordingly budgeted for.

“We are concerned by the health of the nation and therefore we will continually advocate for quality health services,” he said.

Mr Motsamai was also concerned that the health services were no longer taken to people at farms, non- gazetted locations and other production areas through mobile posts.

He therefore appealed for the reinstatement of mobile posts in his constituency.

He further said populated localities such as Ranyane, Metsimantle and Morama were assisted through mobile posts because they were far from locations with established health facilities.

He said the dilapidated structures of the current health facilities were not only an eye sore but equally impacted on the morale of the workers and service delivery.

Meanwhile Parliament approved the proposed overall budget estimates for the Ministry of Health of over P10 billion of which over P10.3 billion was for the recurrent budget while over P401 million or 3.75 per cent will fund the development budget for the 2023/2024 financial year. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Moshe Galeragwe

Location : GABORONE

Event : Parliament

Date : 14 Mar 2023