Ministry moves to deal with staff concerns


The Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Alfred Madigele says government is coming up with measures to address declining levels of professionalism and security concerns.

Dr Madigele was briefing the media about his ministry’s successes and challenges they are facing on Tuesday. He pointed out that in some instances, core cadres that are on the frontline of patient care no longer adhere to some age-old code of conduct that are commensurate with the required empathy and respectability. 

The Minister called upon the old guard to lead by example in promoting professionalism and keeping best practices in health and well-ness.  On other ,  issues he disclosed his ministry is taking action to address staff welfare concerns. Among other interventions, the ministry will provide trained and professional security personnel in health facilities. In that regard, Ministry experts the engagement of private securities in health facilities will lead to improved 

“It has however become apparent that in most cases they lack training and appreciation of their role. The matter falls outside the mandate of our ministry. To deal with the matter, we are therefore in consultation with the relevant Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security to address the issue of quality of services provided,” he said. 

Coupled with such initiatives, Dr Madigele explained that his ministry would beef up security at health facilities by installing electronic security devices. The items have already been carted for in the 2018/19 budget.  Furthermore, they will install CCTV cameras in passages and introduce access cards in restricted areas. The Ministry has also decided that referrals and district hospitals, should have call rooms that are appropriately furnished, while in clinics nurses would be transported while on call. Currently, there are ongoing discussions on the possibility of outsourcing the transport services, in a bid to bring about efficiency, he said. 

On accommodation, there is consideration that housing should be provided within the proximity of the facility where possible. Efforts are also underway to engage the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development to explore possibility of sourcing housing from private market. 

He further said his Ministry is upgrading maintenance facilities with a view pay attention of safety issues. He said they would address stakeholders on issues of violence against health personnel by members of the public. The other issue that he promised to address is the provision of uniform for nurses. 

Dr Madigele acknowledged that over the years, his ministry over the failed to provide nurses with uniform, He said they were considering giving uniform allowance to nurses. Consultations are ongoing with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and Directorate of Public Service Management pertaining to the allowance issue. 

Meanwhile, the ministry is currently processing the filling of vacancies and has also rationalized some positions within the ministry to create D4 positions at facilities that should allow for some C1 officers to move to D4. The ministry is also working to provide a hospitable work environment and continues to explore ways to improve the situation especially shortage of staffing and housing. 

 Minister’s briefing follows the recent petition to the ministry by Botswana Nurses Union (BONU) after the continuous assault of some nurses in workplace. The nurses through BONU raised many welfare issues that they wanted the ministry to address including their safety, promotion, and lack of uniforms, transport and accommodation.

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