The permanent secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Health, Newman Kahiya has given an ultimatum to Princess Marina Hospital staff to deliver or get sacked. "There is no question about it. If you don't deliver there is no reason for us to keep you," he told the staff yesterday.
He told the staff that this is what they (staff) do with their maids and herdboys at home. "If they don't do their job, you fire them, but why should you not expect the same to happen to you at work?" he asked them. Kahiya expressed frustration with the fact that the hospital staff always complain about promotions and transfers without considering whether they are delivering. He told them that they are employed to provide service and it is a shame that the hospital is filthy and smelling. He said it is a shame because the hospital has resources to keep its facilities clean, but some people somewhere are not doing their job.
He is amazed that hospital managers have less work than him, yet they have failed to deliver. "I therefore decided to come and meet with you to find what the real problems are." He said that delivery is for everyone, not only the top managers. He stated that all staff are highly competent and skilled so it is a mystery why they cannot deliver, given the resources they have at their disposal. He stressed the need for the ministry and hospital staff to communicate frequently to find solutions to problems and better ways
He said that in most cases, 80 percent of workers in an organisation are just loitering without any productive work. The remaining 20 percent do a thorough job and make it appear like the whole organisation is delivering. He said that this should change. "It should be 80 percent doing their work and less people for us to worry about," he said.
The PS complained that hospital staff keep patients waiting to be served for long hours. He said patients are given excuses like lack of bottles or drugs, which he said does not create a good image of the health system and tourism in Botswana. "No tourist is going to come here worried that they might die if they happen to get sick," he said. He added that Botswana is much richer compared to Mauritius, but is poorer in delivering health services. "Their tourism is perfect. They also perfect their hospitals to cater for their tourists. We should do the same," he said.
Kahiya suggested that Princess Marina should meet international standards. He was surprised to find that all the good things that are said at graduation ceremonies and other activities have nothing to do with what is happening at the hospital.