FRANCISTOWN: The second city’s Assistant District Commissioner, Boyce Mangole, has condemned and falsified some components of the mayor’s speech, which addressed shortage of doctors at the Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital (NRH).
When giving a presentation on the Urban Development Committee, Mangole discredited some parts of the mayor’s speech, which spoke about deployment of 11 doctors in all the health facilities in the city.
In her speech when opening the full council session on May 27, Francistown mayor, Sylvia Muzila said that the city has only 11 doctors for all the health facilities, which has led to experiencing a doctor patient ratio of 1:9,000, which is way beyond the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommended ratio of 1:600.
Contrary to what the mayor had said, Mangole gave clarity that the 11 doctors whom the mayor spoke about are only deployed at greater Francistown clinics.
He cleared up that currently the NRH houses 63 medical doctors and 56 specialists.
In response to Mangole’s statement, former mayor and specially nominated councilor, Peter Ngoma said that even though there are 63 doctors, the NRH is still gripped by poor working conditions.
He said that the hospital is always congested leading to long queues on a daily basis.
Ngoma added that the hospital also receives scores of people from the northeast district seeking medical attention.
“It’s just a shame that the hospital has more doctors, but it remains troubled,” he said.
Monarch North councillor Godfrey Kaelo was also shocked by the statistics of doctors at NRH.
He said that even though the numbers are high the hospital remains underperforming.
Kaelo even mocked the hospital comparing it to the Francistown abattoir.
He further rubbished the given statistics on the number of medics stating that if the number of doctors are as indicated the conditions of the hospital would not be this dreadful.
He shared his experience when he was admitted at NRH just recently.
According to Kaelo there is shortage of medical equipment, medication and resources such as beds and blankets for patients at NRH.
The frustrated councillor also stated that the hospital lacks specialist doctors, which from his point of view do not correspond with the statistics issued by Mangole.
“I refuse to believe that there are doctors at Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital and I believe Mangole is trying to mislead us,” he said.
He said that on the next full council session, the assistant district commissioner should be in a position to give them the ratio of doctors to patients at the NRH.
Kwambala said that he fails to understand why bookings for doctors’ appointments take up to three years for patients to get medical assistance if indeed they have so many doctors.
He also questioned that, if there are 11 doctors in clinics around the city against 20 establishments, does it mean that if they don’t reach the required numbers would they meet the set standard by WHO.
Another worried councillor from Moselewapula ward, Reuben Ketlhoilwe, said that the NRH is becoming a real concern.
He said that the assistant district commissioner has failed to address the NRH doctor-patient ratio even though he was clarifying the matter.
Ketlhoilwe said that Mangole should have made a comparison of the doctor-patient ratio of NRH transformation over the years to now.
He said that the NHR is giving them a headache, as it does not have medical equipment and doctors.
Monarch South councillor Baboni Mosalagae also disagreed with the statistics revealed by Mangole.
She said that the local clinics and NRH do not have doctors, which lead to loss of lives.
She said that the conditions of NRH are very bad and are mostly contributed by shortage of doctors and resources including medical equipment.
In his reponse, Mangole said that the Minister of Health and Wellness was here two months ago to tour NRH.
“I want to believe that there is hope after an audit of NRH,” he said.
He said that they are also going to establish a district hospital, which is within their plan at the Gerald Estate in order to reduce congestion at the NRH.
Mangole believed that they will be in a better position if the NRH is coupled with better resources and an addition of doctors to make them 20 for their clinics in and around Francistown so that the shortage of doctors in local clinics can be addressed.