SELEBI-PHIKWE: Selebi-Phikwe District Health Management Team is facing a serious shortage of specialists as gynecology patients currently booked to Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital have to wait until 2021.
The waiting period for gynae patients in Selebi-Phikwe Government Hospital is eight months. The district currently has only the services of one specialist being the physician, while contracts for the other four specialists were not renewed.
The principal economic planner at the Selebi-Phikwe Town Council Queen Goepamang told civic leaders when delivering the urban development report recently that there is also a serious shortage of drugs the thing that forces the DHMT to procure them from private pharmacies who mostly fail to meet the demand.
She added that the Central Medical Service’s delivery level is very low and currently stands at 34 percent. The health facilities in the town are as a result facing serious drug shortage with the overall level at Tapologo Warehouse standing at 66%, 77% at the government hospital and an average of 71% in the clinics.
She noted that the health facility maintenance is carried out by a consultant who engages contractors and that local contractors from Selebi-Phikwe are encouraged. She highlighted that another challenge is that the hospital does its laundry at other facilities which is very costly because the laundry machine has not been working for a year now. The hospital is currently awaiting the approved new laundry from the consultant.
There was also a point where the hospital incinerator was out of order for over a year. Councillor Mogae Ketshogile expressed concern over inefficiencies in maintenance of government facilities and wanted to know why the Department of Buildings (DEBS) is not very effective in carrying out maintenance. “We would like them to come and explain how they operate so that we can appreciate if it is anything to do with bureaucracy or staff shortage,” said the councillor.
It was however explained that government has taken a decision for each department to carry out its own
It was further explained that there was once a company contracted to carry out maintenance in the health facilities, but the contract was not renewed because the company could not effectively deliver.
On the other hand, government has approved a P40 million budget for a new 120 beds hospital in Selebi-Phikwe, in the current financial year, and the funds are yet to be released for the project to commence.
Currently, the sustainability report is under compilation and it would then pass through DBES for implementation of the project. Though the project is a welcome move, some councillors wondered how it would address the current situation of shortage of drugs, blankets and specialists and called on government to act swiftly to address the problem.
Meanwhile the mayor, Molosiwa Molosiwa highlighted that since the closure of BCL Mine, council has been receiving a lot of cases of destitution and said it is unfortunate that in most cases the clients who seek for registration as destitute persons are mostly able-bodied who are not willing to engage under Ipelegeng.
He also added that cases of double dipping, where some people benefit from more than one welfare service at the same time, have surfaced.
“It has surfaced that some individuals who are registered as temporary destitute persons are also engaged in Ipelegeng at the expense of those who are neither getting monthly rations nor employed.
It has also been noted that some poverty eradication programme beneficiaries are engaged in Ipelegeng at the expense of those not benefiting from any welfare service,” he said.
He added that this has led to the eventual collapse of projects and urged community leaders to be vigilant to ensure that no individual benefit from more than one welfare programme at the same time.