TONOTA: President Ian Khama has told Tonota residents that government cannot at the present moment, build a hospital in the village, due to lack of funds.
He was responding to numerous health concerns from the community during a Kgotla meeting he addressed last week Thursday.
Khama said he would, however, instruct Health Minister, Dorcas Makgato to visit Tonota within a fortnight and hear the complaints first hand.
“I know you need a hospital and you deserve it looking at your population, but I cannot promise it now because we do not have funds for such big projects. I promise that very soon we will attend to the shortage of drugs and unavailability of ambulances,” said Khama.
Khama said the global recession in 2009 had forced government to shelve some of its planned projects.
He pleaded with residents to be patient, as their concerns would be addressed once the economy improves.
The residents had earlier on told the President that there was shortage of drugs in health facilities in Tonota.
The Village Development Committee chairperson, Oeme Tangani said Tonota also suffered from a shortage of ambulances in all health posts, imperilling patients who suffer emergencies.
The shortage of drugs, Tangani said, was so dire that it forced patients to seek these in Francistown. “We incur transportation costs which defeats government’s position that patients are not supposed to travel distances to get drugs elsewhere.
“We are also pleading with government to build more maternity wards at the Tonota main clinic. Currently, the ward has five beds while Tonota has a population of close to 30,000 people,” Tangani said. We need a hospital to cater for the ever-increasing population in the village.
The problems afflicting Tonota clinics are worsened by the fact that these also serve people from neighbouring villages,” he said. Tangani also disclosed that there is a shortage of accommodation for health workers in the village, which is lowering workers’ morale as they are forced to share accommodation.
“This problem began in 2008 when a flat used by health officers was burnt down, but it has not been renovated,” said Tangani.