Ministry of Health and Wellness (MoH&W) has been urged to develop working strategies and policies to address the collapsing health care system in the country.
Botswana Nurses Union (BONU) that is seeking a swift response says the ministry’s lack of upholding its core mandate has seriously compromised the health care system and has hurt the ordinary citizens who cannot afford private health care.
BONU publicity secretary Aobakwe Lesolame, told Mmegi the collapse and compromise of the health care system has reflected badly on them as care givers.
He explained that as caregivers they would not stand and watch as citizens experience avoidable medical complications while dying needlessly due to an ineffective health system.
“The ministry has been failing to execute its mandate of providing health care compromising the health of the people and on top they have allowed the people to lose hope on us as medical practitioners,” he said.
BONU who are concerned about the severe shortage of health care personnel, drugs and medical supplies coupled with dilapidated infrastructure that continues to compromise the health system.
Lesolame said the undesired situation has forced the public to lose trust in the system and services providers who its majority are nurses.
He pointed out that the rights of the people should be respected and that includes providing and making sure that the health system is functioning to the highest standard expected from a democratic country.
“As service providers our priority lies with our clients and the constant disappointment they suffer at our hands due to the collapsing and ineffective health system makes them not trust us,” he said.
Lesolame further said it was
He said the ministry should make a provision to absorb all health graduates, as they are mostly needed to ease the workload saying it was worrying to see current nurses being overworked while graduates are at home idling.
On the security threat experienced by health personnel with one having been attacked and another raped earlier this year in Gaborone and the recent report on an attack of a doctor in Francistown, Lesolame said that it was of concern that service providers’ lives are at risk.
He noted that it was an unfortunate situation of the doctor that was attacked recently and acknowledged that the ministry had responded to their previous petition after the rape incident and promised to improve security.
“The ministry has promised to engage more security personnel and even engage security forces to make sure that the safety of health caregivers is upheld,” he said
Meanwhile, BONU that is waiting on a response from the ministry to engage with them on a way forward, had laid demands before the ministry to act swiftly.
Among the demands are the provisions of adequate drugs and medical supplies, filling in of vacant posts, transportation of nurses and availing security for them and lastly develop, own and control specific guidelines/policies to decongest health centres.