The Secretary General of the opposition Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Kesitegile Gobotswang, recently launched a scathing attack on Health minister Rev. Dr. John Seakgosing, labeling him a clueless man who has no idea how to run Botswana’s health system.
“The last ten years have witnessed a rapid deterioration of our health system. Twenty years ago Botswana’s health care system was the envy of many developing countries. Our primary health care was used as a model and proudly paraded in international conferences by Botswana,” said Gobotswang.
He singled out Princess Marina Hospital as the worst case, saying the emergency section at the hospital is severely under-resourced, as patients have to wait for hours before they can be assisted.
“When an emergency unit of a hospital becomes a waiting room, the result is often overcrowding and frustration. The medical teams are severely overworked and fatigued, which can put the lives of patients in danger. Instead of addressing the crisis, the Minister appears to prefer trotting behind a President who is as good as being on an indefinite sabbatical leave,” said Gobotswang.
He said Botswana regularly fails to stock medications and drugs, as patients are often forced to dig into their own pockets to buy unavailable prescriptions. Others, he said, often have to travel very far, at immense cost, to access medical equipment like X-rays and physiotherapy equipment, as most of the time the machines are dysfunctional.
“There is an incident in which a patient was turned back outside the operation theater because the surgeon could not raise the required medical team to carry out his operation,” he said.
Gobotswang slammed government for refusing to reinstate doctors and nurses who were fired after the recent public sector strike, even in the face of such challenges and staff shortage.
“We must all be concerned when Botswana’s health care system is on the verge of collapse. Meanwhile, the Minister and his government are clueless and just don’t care,” he said.