PAC members question Cuban doctors’ productivity, motivation

A volunteer doctor providing free eye treatment to children. The PAC have questioned the productivity of Cuban doctors
A volunteer doctor providing free eye treatment to children. The PAC have questioned the productivity of Cuban doctors

Members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have questioned the productivity of Cuban doctors under the medics’ current ‘demotivating’ remuneration dispensation.

The members raised queries after the Ministry of Health’s deputy Permanent Secretary, Tebogo Banamile stated that the remuneration is an allowance from the Cuban government.

She told PAC that Cuban doctors were entitled to between $600 and $800 (between P6,000  to P8,000) allowance, that was disbursed based on their specialties.

At the opening session of the PAC sitting yesterday, Maun East MP Kostantinos Markus, asked Banamile to explain how the doctors were paid. He also wanted to know whether the ministry was satisfied with their performances. Markus said expecting a whole doctor to be productive and efficient while earning about P6,000 was farfetched.

“Are you satisfied with their performance? I don’t think a doctor can be motivated enough to perform satisfactorily with that kind of salary,” said Markus.  However, Banamile said that that was the agreement entered into by the two governments.  “We only provide them with housing, electricity, and transportation,” she added.   Selebi-Phikwe West MP, Dithapelo Keorapetse at this point urged Banamile to desist from diplomatic niceties and engage in discussions whether productivity and motivation were possible under the set-up.  Relations between Botswana and Cuba are said to have grown since 1977. In 2013, at the occasion of the Cuban national day, the then assistant minister of health, Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri was quoted as saying the two countries had renewed the Cooperation Agreement on Health in August 2012.  “With this Agreement, Cuba has increased the number of doctors in Botswana from 71 to 102 as well as the number of specialised areas.  “We are at an advanced stage of receiving these medical specialists. Other areas of possible cooperation in this field are being aggressively pursued,” he said then.

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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