Kweneng South East Member of Parliament Mmoloki Raletobana last week cautioned government not to be too hasty in transferring clinics from the Ministry of Local Government to the Ministry of Health.
Presenting a motion that sought to suspend the transfer, Raletobana said that more consultations have to be held, adding that most of the stakeholders, including legislators, are not adequately informed about the implications of the transfer.
“Quite a considerable number of stakeholders, including us legislators and our constituents, have been left in the lurch as we were not properly consulted about the transfer. We only received notification of a move that was already decided by the top brass.
Consultation means talking to people and obtaining their views. But that was never the case,” said Raletobana.
Such a move, he said, goes against government’s decision to decentralize services, and it will only work to reverse the gains that were made to improve service delivery, especially to those in rural areas.
“Health care clinics are the primary providers of health services to ordinary Batswana in rural areas. By taking over these institutions, government will be depriving Batswana of easy access to health. It is best to improve their services if they are underperforming,” said Raletobana.
He further argued that the move to transfer health care clinics to the Ministry of Health will exacerbate the already existing problem of shortage of medicines, staff and facilities.
He further said that transferring institutions from one ministry to another will not solve the problem, challenging government to rather treat health institutions equally and solve the problems that are inherent in their operations.
“Quality delivery and services are not determined by these transfers; instead, they are decided by the fair modalities applied by the employer. The medicine the government would like to prescribe to us is wrong and I could not even take a pinch,” he said.
Raletobana said that clinics have to be strengthened and their staff’s working conditions improved so that they can offer better services.
Francistown South MP Wynter Mmolotsi concurred with Raletobana, saying government did not adequately consult before implementing the transfer.
“I do not understand why government is so adamant to absorb these clinics. Parliament was not consulted and so were my constituents. We would not succumb to the idea until parliament is formally consulted,” he said.