Maun East Member of Parliament Goretetse Kekgonegile has challenged management at Letsholathebe II Memorial Hospital to up their working standards lest they find themselves placed at the bottom list of underperforming hospitals in the country.
The MP noted that as it stands now, the hospital through its overseer, the Ngami District Health Management Team (DHMT) has literally been reduced to nothing as they cannot even compete with the many private clinics in Maun and surrounding areas because of their failure to avail resources.
He said it is a known fact that the health sector has been affected by the spread of Covid 19, even though it still raises eyebrows as to why a well-resourced hospital like Letsholathebe is always not getting things done right and not offering the needful.
Speaking at the official opening of a new private hospital in Maun over the weekend, Kekgonegile said evidenced by their failure to accelerate pace in the delivery of services in Maun and other hard to reach areas in the entire district, there is urgent need for the Ministry of Health to stretch a helping hand and avail transport first and foremost as it appears to be the main excuse because of the district’s geographical location and inaccessible roads.
“Letsholathebe has been reduced to the level of a mere clinic and this is where it worries me the most. Something needs to be done as a matter of urgency to rescue this hospital. It is one of the biggest in the country but the delivery of services still lacks behind. We need specialists because currently the hospital has been making unnecessary referrals of patients to as far as Gaborone and Francistown and most of the time patients are made to travel long journeys by road which I believe also adds to the deterioration of their various ailments, thus also putting their lives at risk”.
The MP Further noted that he is hopeful that the opening of the new hospital, though private, will in a way help the current situation. He said the turnover at private clinics and hospitals countrywide is very high which is enough proof that people are in dire need of health care services. He urged management at the hospital to make it a point that where possible they should as part of their corporate social responsibility assist communities freely, more especially the less privileged members of the society who could be due for surgery and cannot to pay for the service or cannot travel long distances to wherever they would have been referred to. “You might be running a private facility, but please lets join hands and assist government whenever the need arises. We need to teach our people to be responsible all the time and take necessary precaution on their own and not wait for government message. We are aware that some people have resorted to not taking vaccines all because of fake stories spread through social media. This is where we should join hands and feed our people with what we know be the best information”, said the MP.
Maun Private Hospital manager Dr Gerard Kanku said their existence is just so that they help ease disease burden in Ngamiland by way of bringing quality health services to communities in the district as a whole. He said the twenty six (26) bed facility boasts of specialized doctors, amongst them a gynaecologist,surgeon, paediatrician,physician as well as an anesthesiologist , and that regular visits will always be arranged for other specialists such as cardiologist,dermatologist,ENT specialist, cardiologist and orthopedic surgeon.Dr Kanku shared that as health care practioners,they are equally troubled by the continued loss of lives of health care professionals in Ngamiland and the rest of the country, something which he said might have contributed to what appears like a slow performance of nursing staff and people in other disciplines in the health sector. “We are also open for referrals and this means we will be working alongside Letsholathebe hospital as well as other private clinics in Maun to bring health services to the people because after all it is our responsibility to contain the disease”.
Meanwhile Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Health and Wellness Sethomo Lelatisitswe decried that the reason the district is seen to be poorly performing is because of its vastness and the fact that it is highly populated but still shares resources and services with other districts which borders it. He stated that the splitting health care resources is something which the ministry considers to be one of the solutions of dealing with the current situation of Covid 19, adding that the government of Botswana like any other governments has been badly affected by covid 19 pandemic such that funds have been diverted to the management of the spread of the disease as well as the procurement of vaccines.