Health ministry acknowledges shortfalls in Marina

Says it is trying to solve eminent issues


The Ministry of Health and Wellness said last week that they are aware of issues bedeviling the ailing ministry and its hospitals and assured concerned public and health workers that they were working to resolve those issues.
This is after The Botswana Gazette published an article analyzing the state of Princess Marina Hospital (PMH) and arguing for a probe into the affairs of the hospital. The article raised several issues including poor management, negligence, lack of resources and manpower which have allegedly contributed to unnecessary deaths in some instances. The article also raised the issue of accreditation as PMH is still operating without accreditation from the Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA).
“We are aware of these issues. We will never deny them. We continue to reassure the public and concerned health workers that work towards resolving these issues is ongoing. The country is seeing an unprecedented challenge economically and socially. All these factors affect development and it is our hope that eventually most of, them if not all, will be resolved,” the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Shenaaz El-Halabi, said in a statement.
She however said it was important for Batswana to introspect and look back to where the country come from, arguing that that the health care system had seen a dramatic growth from what it used to be.
“The ministry continues to make progress towards achievement of health-related millennium goals by reducing under five mortality from 76/1000 in 2008 to 28/1000 in 2011,” she said, adding that the maternal mortality was also reduced from 189/1000 in 2008 to 134/1000, which is still very high by international standards.
She said although they continue to experience shortage of staff, especially medical personnel in health facilities, to address this shortage clinics and health posts are clustered for effective management.
“The nurse-patient ratios are available for different levels of care; however, the ministry has a challenge in meeting these ratios because of global demand for health workers. In order to curb this challenge, the ministry has employed health care assistants who participate in day to day patient care services,” El-Halabi wrote.