Switzerland's President Alain Berset has expressed concern that Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital (SKMT) is underutilised.
This follows after SKMT hospital management announced last year that the facility is licensed as a private hospital to offer health care services and will give access primarily through referrals from both private and public health facilities and medical practitioners.
During his tour at the hospital this morning, the President said it is time the hospital becomes operational. Berset is on a state visit in Botswana for two days. He arrived yesterday with his spouse Muriel Zeender-Berset and other government officials.
“The hospital should start operating. These beds that we were shown must be occupied by patients and I understand the hospital helped a lot during COVID-19,” Berset said. However, the acting Minister of Health Sethomo Lelatisitswe said the government is doing everything in its power to ensure that the hospital starts to operate. “Another issue is that some of the doctors who were helping us a lot during the pandemic are not with us but somewhere else. Our aim is to come up with strategies to bring back some of our local doctors home.
Your Excellency, you will agree with me that achieving the dream we have had for this hospital, would require a change in strategy and hence our hope in the agreement we entered into through declaration of intent which we signed earlier this morning,” Lelatisitswe told Berset. He further pledged their commitment to ensuring the establishment of the steering committee as possible to ensure the implementation of the declaration of intent.
The Assistant Minister said having highlighted their challenges and strategies for development, particularly in diagnostic testing, disease surveillance and service delivery as provided at their quaternary health facility, operationalising the agreement as provided by the declaration of intent will be their highest priority.