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Untangling the P3 billion Sir Ketumile Masire Hospital

The public will have to wait for at least a month before they can walk in the P3 billion state of the art Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital (SKMTH) quaternary facilities as the Commissioning Manager (CM) has set April as a month for the official opening.

Government had wished the hospital will open next month, but after some hiccups in the commissioning process, it will now open in April. In an interview with this publication, SKMTH Commissioning Manager Dr Thato Moumakwa has revealed that spanners are at work with progress on track. He disclosed that the facility could have long been opened but the then transitional team could not conceptualize the project.

“They thought it is construction then operational. They omitted the commissioning process which leads to operation.” It is said the board and the ministerial leadership was not happy because of lack of meaningful progress until Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Alfred Madigele appointed Moumakwa as the hospital CM. “The minister intervened. He told the board that he was not happy with the progress and through his intervention the commissioning team was formulated,” he said in an interview on Wednesday afternoon.

Upon full commissioning, SKMTH will offer broad areas of service like; Critical and Trauma Care, Women and Child Care, Cardiac Care Comprehensive Oncology Care, Nephrology and Transplant Services, Internal Medicine, Surgical Services and Allied Health Services.
For now, according to Dr Moumakwa the hospital will open only for the phase-one since the Commissioning process is tedious and therefore the task team will only bite, chew and swallow what they can. “We should do it rapidly but cautiously because we are dealing with integrity of an organization,” Dr Moumakwa cautioned.

The hospital, it is expected will save government millions of Pula, and relieve pressure from Botswana’s major public health care providers, Princess Marina Hospital (PMH) and Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital.  The hospital will also come as competition for private hospitals such as Bokamoso Private Hospital and Gaborone Private Hospital. The SKMTH is located on the grounds of the University of Botswana campus in Gaborone, is a 450 bed quaternary hospital.

The mandate of the hospital when fully functional is threefold; which will be to provide world class medical services at a quaternary level, to work in conjunction with the University of Botswana School of Health Services to provide world class health education, and lastly to  act as a hub for health research. It is hoped that the hospital will attract the best clinical and academic staff in the region, possibly internationally, and will be a destination of choice for clients seeking world class cost effective medical services.

The hospital, according to Dr Moumakwa will operate as a quaternary hospital. “It will fit into the apex of a healthcare referral ecosystem that entails the two regional tertiary hospitals, namely PMH and Nyangabgwe Referral Hospitals, which will refer into SKMTH for super-specialized health services.”

HIRING OF COMMISSINING TEAM

It has emerged from sources that the process of hiring those in the team was characterized by poor governance and that best recruitment standards were not followed. Some of the complaints are, the CM, singlehandedly recruited the hospital’s staff despite some believing that recruitment should have entailed a panel decision contrary to what occurred at the hospital.  

“I was looking for competency. I was explicitly told to do the whole thing urgently and was ordered to even head-hunt and I agreed. However I modified the head-hunting by looking at CV’s of those that applied in 2017 and we interviewed at least four people per discipline,” Moumakwa said in an interview held on the 4th floor office of the facility this week.

He added, “I engaged myself, Human Resource and a co-opted member of the board for hiring. Only Finance Manager and Board Secretary are the ones who were never interviewed.” By far the team is made up of 16 employees. 10 of those were from the transitional team, with CM recruiting six members mostly from the private sector.

EQUIPMENTS

By far the hospital which strives for excellence and wants to position Botswana as the hub for medical purposes has major equipment’s for Diagnostic Radiology delivered.  This will aid with CT scans, X-rays, MRI and mammography. All these are necessary for phase-one according to Dr Moumakwa. Other equipment for nuclear medicine and radiation oncology are expected to be procured in the next 24 months.

WILL IT BE PUBLIC OR PRIVATE FACILITY?  

The hospital which is 100 percent funded by the government but registered as a company will only hospitalise those that have been referred to by the tertiary hospitals. “We will open for private patients as we will be competing with other available facilities. We are also developing a tariffs system whereby we will be able to recover money from medical aids.” For ordinary citizens they will have to be referred. “We won’t be dealing with cold cases, but if there is an emergency around us we will assist,” said the CM.

In terms of referrals from public hospitals, Dr Moumakwa says patients will be given invoices that will also be sent to government so that the patient can comprehend the value of the service offered while reconciling with the subvention they are given by the government.
“That is why a fully functional accounts and administrative team is key we should justify to government,” he said.

Meanwhile it is expected that various students be it undergraduate or post graduate medicine students from University of Botswana will pass through the facility for their practical tests. This is in line with its vision of training and producing international standard healthcare professionals for the entire national healthcare system, and beyond. Medical research is another area that will see the hospital focusing on. “We want to find medical solutions that are unique to our environment,” Dr Moumakwa concluded.

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BDP decides Balopi’s fate

22nd November 2021
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The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.

The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.

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BDF-Namibians shootings autopsy report revealed

22nd November 2021
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The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.

This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.

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Gov’t confused over Moitoi’s UN job application

22nd November 2021
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The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.

Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.

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