Clinics to return to Local Government- Molale

Innocent Tshukudu

Government has confirmed that clinics will be returned to the Local Government after they were placed under the central government a decade ago.

The revelations were made by the Minister of Local Government Eric Molale during a series of kgotla meetings he addressed in his Good-Hope-Mabule constituency in January, and were buttressed by Assistant Minister of Health, Sethomo Lelatisitswe, last Friday in parliament.

“As you may all be aware that one of President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s priorities was Decentralization, we are considering taking clinics back to where they were – the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development,” he said when responding to comments from MPs on the question that was asked related to poor state of government health facilities across the country.

 The Assistant Minister also said that the government is going to bring a Health Quality Bill in the near future that will set up an Independent Health Inspectorate. The Inspectorate will be responsible for provision of regulatory policies, standards and guidelines for monitoring the health sector licensing and their periodic auditing as well as ensure adherence to norms and service standards.

“My ministry is aware of the challenges that the health facilities face and issues of standards adherence. Currently, the Office of Director of Health Services, through regulatory bodies, address issues of regulation and patient safety.  In addition, in the restructuring of the ministry, there has been an upgrade of monitoring of health services by forming a Department of health Services Monitoring and Evaluation and quality assurance that was there in the previous structure,” the Assistant Minister said as MPs threw questions at him on how he intends to solve the shortage of doctors, nurses and drugs in hospitals and clinics.

MP for Francistown West, Ignatius Moswaane, asked the minister why he claims to have professionals in his ministry whilst some machines have been lying broken down and idle at Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital in Francistown.

Meanwhile, The Voice has in good authority that the biggest challenge that the ministry is facing is that it has taken on the responsibility of maintenance of its equipment and in many instances there are no skilled personnel to repair such machines.

In other countries, and even government departments here, the maintenance of machinery is outsourced to private companies or even the manufacturer.

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