Mmegi Online :: Patients go hungry at BLH
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Last Updated
Thursday 20 July 2017, 17:11 pm.
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Patients go hungry at BLH

As critical as the health sector is, it is proving difficult for the Bamalete Lutheran Hospital (BLH) to offer an environment for giving and receiving quality health care.
By Innocent Selatlhwa Tue 28 Mar 2017, 16:21 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Patients go hungry at BLH








The problem stems from the financial insecurity that continues to dog the hospital, resulting in demoralised employees and admitted patients spending days without food.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness (MHW) says it has run out of money to support the hospital in the last quarter and has been relying on loans to shore up the hospital.

For three months in a row, employees at BLH have not gotten their salaries on time. Once again, the hospital management has issued a memo (last week) informing them that their salaries will be delayed and that in some instances they may not come at all.

While in the past two months employees at the Bamalete School of Nursing were not affected, they have also been served with the memo this time around.

The memo from the chief executive officer titled, ‘March 2017 salaries’ only states that salaries for the month will be delayed without stating any reasons.

The employees who usually get paid on the 23rd and 24th of each month were on February 23 served with a memo reading; “We regret to inform you that your salaries for February 2017 would be delayed due to technical problems. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused”. On being pressed, he explained that the ‘technical problem’ was that they do not have money.

Mmitsi said Bamalete’s dependence on Government and the procedures involved in securing funding sometimes affect their operations.

Like in previous

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interviews, the employees lament that this inconveniences them and costs them financially as they are then liable to charges for not meeting their obligations on time.

“This affects our work a great deal; people are demoralised. People are worried and have started questioning their future.

Having such people attend to patients is risky. We need sharp minds when dealing with people’s lives. It also breaks my heart to see patients going hungry as there is nothing for us to give them,” one employee lamented.

The MHW said they are financially constrained. “We are aware employees have not been receiving their salaries well on time since January 2017. This is expected to continue to 31st March, 2017,” the ministry Public Relations Officer, Doreen Motshegwa said.

She said the situation does not only obtain at the hospital, but also at centres receiving subventions from the Ministry.

“The delay is attributed to the financial strain and competing Ministry needs it experienced during this last quarter. As a remedial measure, the Ministry had in collaboration with some select banks, agreed on a bailout to until March 31, 2017 after which the situation will normalise,” she said.

Motshegwa said the Ministry through Grant Agreement signed with the centres, guarantees not only salaries (recurrent budgets) and the day-to-day running expenses, but also extends to part funding the “development budget” and replacement of obsolete equipment (x-ray machines, utility vehicles, ambulances, buildings and others).

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