In Thursday's Parliamentary questions

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In Thursday's Parliamentary questions

Question: Wynter Mmolotsi

Whether she is aware that Government medical facilities in Francistown are struggling on account of shortage of doctors, nurses and medical supplies and to state the total number of doctors required for the Francistown District Health Management Team and the actual number at the moment?


Response: Dr Alfred Madigele

The ministry is aware of the shortage of health professionals, mainly doctors throughout the country, including Francistown. Scarcity of doctors both in the country and in the global market contributes to this shortage. We are however hopeful, that this problem will in time be addressed by initiatives such as the new Medical School at the University of Botswana, the continued prioritisation of health professions in government sponsored training, increased uptake in our Institute of health sciences, engaging private providers to provide specialist medical services as well as continuous recruitment of medical specialists. Regarding nurses, the number of nurses in Francistown DHMT is adequate.

“My ministry is also aware that there are periods of times when some medical supplies are out of stock in government facilities. However, such periods are occasional and never compromise the care of patients. We are prioritising the strengthening of supply chain management system to address the shortages of medical commodities in the country”.

Francistown DHMT currently has 18 doctors as opposed to the required number of 32.  It has a total establishment of 32 doctors of which 18 are currently on the ground, two on study leave and 12 vacancies.  It also has 233 of which 120 are midwifes and 113 are general nurses, 58 nurses have been transferred, of which 14 nurses have already left the district.


Question: Biggie Butale

Asked the Minister of Agriculture if he will consider employing the same tractor drivers throughout year after year as opposed to the current system of hiring new drivers every year, who have to learn on the job and end up destroying the tractors due to continued apprenticeship?



Christiaan de Graaff

It is true that tractor drivers for the ISPAAD programme are hired every year just before the cropping season. This approach is a result of the fact that the ploughing and planting activities run for only five months from October to Mid February after which tractors are then not engaged as during the cropping season.

Further, hiring drivers permanently would therefore result in them idling most of the time, when these tractors are not fully engaged. The tractor drivers are however trained before they are engaged in order to ensure proper and efficient use of implements.


Question: Ignatius Moswaane

Asked the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development if the department of social and community development is charged with the responsibility of making sure that Batswana do not live in poverty, if so why is it that for both community development and social safety nets council assessment are done after six months or 12 months and not within the set 30 days period thereby failing to meet the service standards of assessing clients?


Response: Botlogile Tshireletso

Poverty is a multi-dimensional phenomenon and therefore the department of Social and Community Development is one of the key stakeholders responsible for ensuring that Batswana do not live in poverty. The only delay in assessing beneficiaries who have been identified for possible assistance has been under the poverty eradication programme. This was as a result of the backlog of assessments, which accumulated over time and the influx of beneficiaries who registered for possible assistance when the programme was initially rolled out.


Question: Haskins Nkaigwa

Asked Minister of Education and Skills Development if he is aware of a savingram that was sent to Primary Schools in Gaborone that calls for the increase of students per class to 45, if so will this not further exacerbate the poor performance of students in primary schools.


Response: Moiseraele Goya

The ministry is not aware of any savigram, which advocates for class sizes at primary level to increase to 45 per class. The policy of the ministry remains that once a class reaches 40 an additional learner will cause the class to split and form another class.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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