There are no plans to upgrade Old Naledi clinic to a fully fledged 24-hour health facility during the current financial year, says Assistant Minister of Health, Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri.
Responding to a query posed by Gaborone South MP, Kagiso Molatlhegi, in Parliament, Matlhabaphiri said this was the case despite his ministry getting a budgetary allocation of P3.5 billion for the current financial year.
Only the maternity wing of the Old Naledi clinic is open 24 hours, despite Old Naledi being Gaborone’s largest and oldest township.
Old Naledi has a large population of underprivileged residents some of whom live in makeshift dwellings made from scrap materials, thus a need for a fully fledged clinic.
Ministry of Health Principal Public Relations Officer, Temba Sibanda, said the Extension 2 Clinic and the Julia Molefhe clinic in Block 9 are the only clinics that are open 24 hours in Gaborone.
During cases of emergency, the two clinics sometimes fail to cope with patients, hence the plan to upgrade a clinic situated in Mogoditshane and one in Tlokweng to avoid congestion.
Sibanda added that the National Development Plan (NDP) 10 estimate for the infrastructural upgrading of clinics is P292.9 million and all cities and major villages in Botswana should have at least one health facility operating 24-hours.
However, the recurrent budget of P3.5 billion presented during the budget speech recently does not include the upgrading of clinics countrywide.
Despite the fact that Old Naledi clinic does not provide a 24-hour service, it does operate during weekends and public holidays from 07:30 to 12:45.
Sibanda said that the upgrading of Old Naledi clinic is budgeted for in NDP 10 but the ministry is giving priority to Block 8 clinic because Old Naledi residents are catered for by Extension 2 clinic while there is no 24-hour clinic in the northern part of the city.