Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital Manager, Dr Setso Setso, is concerned by the acute shortage of doctors and pharmacists in Francistown’s government health facilities and has called for immediate intervention before the situation deteriorates further.
Addressing a full council meeting last week, Setso said there are only 14 doctors manning the city’s clinics, with just seven pharmacists and described the situation as deplorable and negatively affecting service delivery to the detriment of patients.
“Our clinics are faced with a serious shortage of doctors and pharmacists, which then retards the service delivery to our patients. This normally ends up with some of the patients not getting the right medication at the right time,” he said.
Setso also said that nurses are refusing to consult and to give medication to patients as dispensing medication is out of their job description. He told the councillors that his management is saddled with this huge challenge whose solution is not imminent at the moment.
He accused some doctors of lack of professionalism for their failure to properly manage their work schedules.
“There is a growing trend by some of our doctors who do not conduct their duties professionally. Some doctors can just abandon their duties and attend to other schedules without any arrangement with the management and this is a serious concern too. We have since warned and advised them to arrange their schedules properly,” he said.
Setso further raised concerns of overcrowding at Nyangabwe Referral Hospital.
He called on the councillors to tour the facility, saying the situation has worsened in such a way that a single ward meant to accommodate 40 patients is forced to accommodate around 70 patients.
“The other issue that needs serious attention is that when the clinics were relocated to the Ministry of Health from Local Government, some of the staff was kicked out of Local Government houses. We had to find them accommodation in Tonota Village which forces them to commute from Tonota everyday which then impedes service delivery,” Setso said.
The councillors unanimously resolved to tour all the government health facilities and to further approach Health Minister Dr John Seakgosing on the situation.
They expressed concerns over the declining health facilities in Francistown, saying that the challenge should be addressed urgently.