Long wait for 24-hours

Kabelo Dipholo

Francistown South clinic upgrade on hold for at least another year.

Residents of Francistown South constituency will have to wait at least another year for one of their clinics to even be considered for an upgrade to a 24-hour facility.

This came to the fore during a response by the Minister of Health and Wellness, Edwin Dikoloti in Parliament this week.

Dikoloti was fending off hard-hitting questions from Francistown South Member of Parliament (MP), Wynter Mmolotsi.

Amongst others, the Alliance for Progressive’s (AP) second-in-command had wanted to know how many doctors are based in the Francistown District Health Management Team (DHMT) against the establishment register (the recommended number).

Mmolotsi also enquired about the number of nurses in his constituency’s clinics against the establishment register and when the Minister will consider upgrading one of the clinics to full time status.

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The constituency currently has three clinics: Masego, Lapologang and Botswelelo, which all operate from 0730hrs until 16:30hrs.

In his response, Dikoloti conceding that although it is evident there is need for such a development, his Ministry was handcuffed by budgetary issues.

“Once our financial situation improves, upgrading of one of the facilities to 24 hours will be considered,” he promised but admitted that would not be until the start of the 2023 financial year [next April] at the earliest.

The Health head added his ministry continue to monitor statistics that informs decision making to upgrade health centres to 24-hour set-ups.

According to the Minister, there are currently 26 medical doctors in Greater Francistown DHMT against 30 of the establishment register.

Masego clinic has four midwives and six general nurses, Lapologang has four midwives and five general nurses while Botswelelo has four midwives and four general nurses.

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Dikoloti further revealed that while minor maintenance have been carried out in all three clinics, no major work has been done in the last three financial years due to financial and human resources challenges.

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