Francistown councillors have expressed concern about the deplorable state of Nyangagbwe referral hospital. Councillors across the political divide took turns recently to voice out their disquiet about the situation at the health institution which serves the northern part of the country.
When commenting on the Urban Development Committee report that was presented by Deputy District Commissioner, Boyce Mangole, the civic leaders were not amused that government is taking too long to address problems bevelling one of the oldest referral hospitals locally. BDP councillor for Monarch South, Baboni Mosalgae who is normally quite during full council debates said Nyangabgwe has now turned into a slaughter house. “Patients continue to lose their precious lifes at the institution due to shortage of equipment to perform major surgeries. The situation at Nyangabgwe is heart breaking, our electorates are always asking us when will government fix the mess at the hospital but we fail to answer them,” charged Mosalagae.
Another councillor, Ruben Kethoilwe of Moselwapula ward highlighted that government is spending millions of pula to refer patients to private hospitals due to lack of machinery and equipment to perform lifesaving surgeries at the hospital. Itekeng ward councillor, Lesego Kwambala wanted to know the number of doctors at the hospital as patients take too long to secure doctor’s appointments which results in their health status deteriorating. Godfrey Kaelo of Monarch West observed that the hospital needs major refurbishment due to its dilapidated state. “The hospital is experiencing shortage of beds and blankets for the patients, our government need to do something urgently. Some patients are forced to sleep on the floor and that is detrimental to their health especially during the winter season.
In response, Mangole who was very diplomatic told the civic leaders that government is aware of shortage of medical equipment at Nyangabgwe. “In February, Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Alfred Madigele undertook a familiarization tour at the facility to get first-hand information. The minister admitted that there is acute shortage of medical equipment which hinders health professionals to execute their duties diligently,” he explained. During his visit Madigele pointed out that some of the machines were no longer factional such as scans. Concerning shortage of nurses, Madigele said they have already submitted a request to the Department of Public Service Management (DPSM) to hire more nurses to increase staff compliment at Nyangabgwe. “My ministry is currently adjudicating tenders to supply medical equipment and refurbishment of our health facilities,” Madigele told journalists then.