Thursday, May 6, 2021

Major centre of excellence for health sector to come up in Botswana

Owing to the glaring shortage of drugs and distribution in the country, Botswana is on the verge to inviting prospective investors to set up business in the country as the government moves to fulfill its cherish dream to uplift the country a centre of excellence in the health sector.

Currently Botswana imports all its drugs and medical supplies.

For the first time in history, Princess Marina hospital held its first stakeholders Pitso meeting Friday aimed amongst others at ensuring the dream becomes a reality as the country nears it’s much touted Vision 2016.

“Inadequate health workforce remains one of the major constraints in the provision of health care and services. The challenges we are currently experiencing are a consequence of many and varied factors such as underproduction, unattractive working conditions, staff turnover and inadequate budgets,” revealed the Assistant Minister of Health Alfred Madigele at the meeting.

The police, prison officers, security and immigration officers whose clients frequent Princess Marina on daily medical basis, attended the meeting and also learnt the maintenance of health facilities and medical equipment was another area where “we believe the involvement of partners is also critical.”

“We just do not have the capacity as government to handle the volumes and complexity of physical infrastructure at their disposal.”

Madegele added: “Drugs availability and distribution is another area of concern. Currently Botswana imports all its drugs and medical supplies. This is why we would like to invite prospective investors to set up in Botswana.”

Government initiated quite a number of strategies including the development Hubs aimed at promoting diversification and employment creation.

Besides ensuring efficiency in health service delivery through outsourcing of some services, the Health Hub aims to promote high quality health service delivery through Public Private Partnerships by establishing centres of excellence.

In addition, the Health Hub promotes medical tourism to cater for local, regional and international health care needs.

“The involvement and active participation from us as stakeholders is very crucial for the realisation of these intentions,” Madigele noted.

So far Botswana health successes include the introduction of five basic specialties of anesthesia, pediatrics, surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology in all the district hospitals either on resident or outreach basis.

Furthermore, cardiology is offered at Sekgoma and Letshalathebe II while ophthalmology is at Sekgoma and Deborah Retief Memorial hospital with outreach services in Mahalapye.

Cardiac surgery, nephrology together with knee and hip replacement are offered at Princess Marina hospital as the country moves to fulfill its quest for centre of excellence.

Held under the theme “working together towards an effective and efficient health service”, Princess Marina hospital first stakeholders Pitso meeting also aimed to alleviate congestion at the facility blamed on patients who visit the hospital with minor injuries instead of going to local clinics for treatment.

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